Dutch Christian schools can refuse gay teachers

Christian schools are within their rights to refuse to employ gay teachers if homosexuality breaks school principles, the Nederlands Dagblad reports on Tuesday, quoting the government’s Council of State advisory body.

The paper says that confidential recommendations from council state that while anti-discrimination measures remain paramount, religious and other belief-based institutions ‘can impose specific demands under strict conditions’.

These conditions have to be ‘desirable, legitimate and just’ and show ‘good faith and loyalty’ to the religious principles, the council says.

The Netherlands has dozens of fundamentalist Christian schools which oppose homosexuality on Biblical principles. While funded by the government, they are run independently. Such schools may not discriminate but are free under European rules to determine their own ‘professional demands’ for teachers, the paper says.

Last month a strict Protestant primary school in Gelderland suspended a teacher because he was gay and lived with another man. That case is being taken to the equal opportunities commission.

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