Dutch Christian Union ready to give seats to people in gay relationship
The board of the Dutch political party Christian Union drops the notion that sexuality belongs to the marriage of a man and a woman. The party has put a homosexual with a relation in an eligible position on the list for the Senate.
The CU’s core values contains a footnote from 2008, saying that the Christian Union and its predecessors always “consistently” expressed that “God instituted marriage at creation as an unbreakable relationship of one man and one woman and as such a fundamental pillar of society.” This implies that “sexual intercourse is inseparable from marriage.”
After 2008, however, the participation of homosexuals in the party increased. Within the party, an LGBTQI network will be active. And the CU’s youth party openly supported Coming Out Day last week.
Also, in the churches from which the party members come, the openness towards gay relationships grew. In some local councils, the party is already represented by practising homosexuals. On Thursday, party chairman Ankie van Tatenhove said this in an interview with Reformatorisch Dagblad.
In that interview, she is asked whether she still feels bound to the statement about marriage in the core values. “It is true that the party board is distancing itself from that.”
The Christian Union is a Protestant party formed in 2000 as a continuation of two Reformed parties (GPV and RPF). These two movements stood in the tradition of Abraham Kuyper and his Anti-Revolutionary Party. In these parties, the conviction about homosexuality was phrased by the Liberated Reformed ethics professor, Jochem Douma. He summarised the Biblical position as “being so but not doing so.”
The CU positioned itself explicitly as a more radical alternative to the Christian Democratic people’s party, CDA. That party was too vague in issues around the protection of life and relationships. In 2008, a party commission said that homosexuals representing the party would have a “credibility problem”.
After its formation, the Christian Union was active in several government coalitions. At present, the party is part of the government for the third time after the first period in 2007.
The party’s participation in the government might have stimulated the openness of the CU. Here and there, the party is represented by Roman Catholics and, according to the chairman, also practising homosexuals. The present candidate for the Senate, around whom the discussion grew, is a Roman Catholic too.
There seems to be support in the party for this candidacy for the Senate. Still, there is some criticism, though. Herman van Wijngaarden, a celibate homosexual, said in Nederlands Dagblad, he thinks the high position of that person on the list is okay, but he “would regret if the culture in the Christian Union becomes that this is normal.”
He wishes that the CU remains the party representing Christian homosexuals who choose not to live this out. “This is not an outdated position but based on principles to which the Christian Union also subscribes. A culture can develop that people who choose to stay single feel left out in the cold.”
Internationally, the Christian Union is sometimes finding opposition in the circles of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM). This is a Europa-wide political platform founded by the CU itself. Other European partners are usually much more conservative regarding gender and sexuality than the CU. From time to time, this leads to debate.
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