By Hilary White

THE HAGUE, April 17, 2008 ( – The Netherlands equality commissioners have ruled that if a civil marriage commissioner refuses to conduct wedding ceremonies for homosexual partners, they must be barred from conducting ceremonies between men and women as well.

The Equal Treatment Commission (CGB) ruled yesterday that local authorities are “not violating the equal treatment law if it refuses to appoint a marriage registrar who does not wish to marry persons of the same sex on grounds of religion”.

The judgment comes after the municipality of Langedijk placed advertisements for two marriage registrars and demanded that applicants be prepared to conduct wedding ceremonies for natural couples and for same-sex partners. 

The Christian Union party called the ruling an “unnecessarily harsh approach.”

The party, Christen Unie, is a Dutch orthodox-protestant and Christian-social party that holds “conservative” social views and centre left ideas on economic, migration, social and environmental issues.

A party spokesman said, “This ruling does not help us further in the search for a careful balance between groups in society with differing beliefs” about homosexual “marriage”.

When it comes to freedom of conscience for Christians and anyone who objects on moral grounds to homosexuality, however, it seems that homosexual political activists are only willing to apply tolerance to those who agree with their views.

In 2007 in Canada, homosexual activists fought efforts to allow marriage commissioners the right to exercise their freedom of conscience. When a Conservative MLA in New Brunswick tabled a piece of legislation meant to protect Christians and others who objected to the imposition of “gay marriage”, homosexual activists responded with outrage, saying the legislation would grant rights to individuals who “discriminate” and would be an affront to the “equal marriage” movement.

See related coverage:

Manitoba Marriage Commissioner Ordered to Perform Gay ‘Marriages’ Fights in Court for Freedom of Religion