By Hilary White

AMSTERDAM, June 17, 2009 ( – Nederlands Dagblad reports that Christian schools will be allowed to refuse to hire active homosexuals as teachers, according to a leaked government document.

The Dutch Council of State advisory body said in a confidential report to the Cabinet that it is not a matter of “discrimination” to require employees to conform to a specific kind of behaviour based on the “religion / philosophy of life which form the basis of the institution.”

The report said that while schools may not discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation” alone, it is not illegal to dismiss or refuse to hire a teacher based on “additional circumstances” such as the person living a homosexual lifestyle. 

Religious and philosophical institutions may, under “strict conditions,” fire or refuse to hire homosexuals who behave contrary to the school’s moral values. These conditions need to be “substantial, legitimate and justified” and combined with “an attitude of good faith and loyalty” to the institution’s religious or philosophical basis.

Nederlads Dagblad reported that under Article 5 of the General Law on Equal Treatment, Christian schools and institutions have “a great freedom,” but the decisive factor is the consistency with which the rules are applied.

A small number of private Christian schools in the Netherlands operate independently, but still receive public funding. The leaked report comes following a letter to Christian schools circulated by Ronald Plasterk, the minister for education, that said Christian beliefs are not legitimate grounds to exclude homosexual staff.


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