AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Marriage commissioners in a district of Amsterdam will be forced to undergo annual evaluations to ensure they support same-sex “marriage” after revelations that two commissioners had refused to officiate at the ceremonies.
Since 2007, the government in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district has only employed commissioners who agree to perform same-sex “marriages,” and officials apparently believed the district was free of “conscientious objectors.”
One of the two objectors was employed before the 2007 change, but the other had said she did not object to performing same-sex “marriages” when she was hired last year. The second commissioner is now under investigation to ascertain whether she changed her views or lied in her interview. If she did lie, she would likely face dismissal.
The annual evaluations were proposed by alderman Ronald Mauer after news of the two commissioners surfaced. It is unclear what consequences a commissioner will face if their evaluation shows they are unwilling to perform the ceremonies.
The Netherlands is one of numerous Western countries where marriage commissioners are denied freedom of conscience in the face of legislation allowing same-sex “marriages” or civil unions.
In one high profile case, British civil registrar Lillian Ladele was forced to resign when her employers at the Islington council sought to require her to perform homosexual civil partnership ceremonies. She took her case all the way to the U.K. Supreme Court, who refused to hear it in 2010 on the grounds that it lacked “general public importance.” She is now headed to the European Court of Human Rights.
In Canada’s province of Saskatchewan, the government promised in January to fire any marriage commissioner that refuses to “marry” homosexual couples. That move followed a ruling by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal that commissioners’ constitutional rights to freedom of religion and conscience are outweighed by homosexuals’ right to freedom from discrimination.