Monday, February 08, 2010

Netherlands: Students protest at schools’ right to refuse gays

Radio Netherlands reports gay magazine Expreszo has called on young homosexuals to call in sick today and join a demonstration in The Hague. The protest is against a clause in legislation which allows religious schools to turn away gay pupils and teachers.

The clause was due to be debated in the Lower House on Monday. However, the debate has been postponed because Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst has called in sick herself.

Dutch state-funded schools may be run either by local authorities or by independent foundations, often grounded in a particular religious belief. Orthodox religious schools are not entitled to refuse teachers or pupils simply because they are homosexual. However, gays and lesbians who openly express their sexual orientation can be turned away if the school considers their behaviour to conflict with its religious principles. Religious schools can insist that their teachers condemn homosexuality.

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