Gay demonstration draws 300
2 April 2007, AMSTERDAM – The COC demonstration at the monument for homosexuals drew about 300 people on Amsterdam, a spokesperson for the COC said on Sunday.
2 April 2007
AMSTERDAM – The COC demonstration at the monument for homosexuals drew about 300 people on Amsterdam, a spokesperson for the COC said on Sunday.
The COC organised the demonstration in protest against the civil servants who refuse to conduct marriages for same-sex couples. It was exactly six years ago that same-sex marriages were legalised.
Seven Dutch municipalities continued to hire officials who refuse to perform same-sex marriages, even after gay marriage was legalised on 1 April 2001.
Gay rights organisation COC Nederland says their survey of 443 Dutch municipalities came to this conclusion. The results were presented at the gathering in Amsterdam on Sunday.
One in eight Dutch municipalities has officials in service who refuse to marry gay couples. Twenty municipalities said that they might continue in future to hire officials who object to performing such marriages.
Representatives of political parties signed an agreement in which they indicate that they do not support any legal acknowledgement for officials' right to refuse to perform gay marriages.
"The [Labour] PvdA has also signed the agreement. That shows political progress," the spokesperson said.
PvdA chairman Michiel van Hulten joined Socialist party SP member Anja Meulenbelt in saying that there should be no distinctions in the marriages performed by the civil servants who uphold the law. "And that is why the PvdA will also make sure that no legal arrangement is introduced to secure the position of officials who fail to do so." The chairman called on all local PvdA branches to submit motions in municipal councils to prevent any officials from being hired who refuse to perform gay marriages.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news