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Dutch anger over pope's gay marriage condemnation

Saturday 22 December 2012

Dutch foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans has criticised the pope for his recent statements on homosexuality, RTL news reported on Saturday.

‘If every person is unique, as the pope’s representative said in Dublin last week, then why should that unique person not have the right to stand up for their own sexual orientation?’ Timmermans is quoted as saying.

'Why can Romeo marry Juliet but not Julius?' the minister told RTL. ‘Marriage between two people of the same sex is having respect for the uniqueness of the individual.’

The pope used his traditional Christmas speech this year to denounce gay marriage which he said is destroying the very ‘essence of the human creature’.

The Netherlands legalised same sex marriages in April 2001, the first country in the world to do so.

United Nations

The COC gay rights lobby group has called on Timmermans to summon the pope’s representative in the Netherlands and to campaign to have the Vatican lose its special position within the United Nations.

‘Wars are raging and people are dying of hunger, and the Vatican chooses to condemn people who love each other,’ RTL news quoted a spokesman as saying. ‘And when it comes to Uganda, where the most terrible anti-gay legislation is being introduced in the name of religion, the Vatican says not a word.’

In the meantime, a new Facebook page ‘No flowers for the pope’ – a reference to the fact the Netherlands sends flowers to the pope every Easter – had gathered 7,000 likes by late Saturday afternoon.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, no matter what we may think of them.

This consensus fascism is becoming tiresome.

By David | 22 December 2012 6:14 PM

Pope or no pope, my perennial advice holds true: better to ignore than understand bigots.

By Stewart | 22 December 2012 8:51 PM

‘Marriage between two people of the same sex is having respect for the uniqueness of the individual.’ - which one is more important - respect for uniqueness or the greater good? If everyone has same sex partner, human will be exinct in no time. If this repect is going to harm the society or the greater good, is pursuing this respect a selfish act?

By ufo | 23 December 2012 10:04 AM

The pope is not only becoming less and less a power for peace in the world, he's becoming an inspiration for hate mongerers. Good grief! Another example of the state of the world and the lack of decent human beings in the position of power.

By James | 23 December 2012 10:42 AM

Is the Pope still free to believe what he wants, or to express what the church he represents believes? Does he have freedom of expression? Freedom from religious persecution? Should he be bullied by those who disagree?
Respect goes both ways. He has expressed his beliefs and should not be bullied for them.

By Freedom | 23 December 2012 12:56 PM

Surprised? The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church. Popular or not, he has to preach the faith to his flock.

By Jim | 24 December 2012 2:40 AM

I am not anti gay or a right wing supporter or even religious
but i think the problem here is a simple matter of the choice of words.
Marriage is and has always been defined as between a man and a woman. You can't expect to change something that has existed for thousands of years overnight. Stop referring to these unions as marriages and acceptance will come easier.
What is wrong with civil unions or something? because let's be honest, these are not marraiges according to the definition of marriage

By scraps | 24 December 2012 4:41 AM

Let Pope to stand what he thinks, while let Netherlands to stand what they think right. But if Pope trying to take actions which going to harm to the society they somebody can act. Indeed, there are more problems than talking about gays. What Netherlands doing when it comes to Afghanistan? Libiya, Palastine, show your huminity rather than words

By Ferdinadez | 24 December 2012 9:03 AM

How moving, all this support for the pope in the comments.

By pepe | 24 December 2012 11:55 PM

Timmermans has a right to state his values and the Pope to his. Long live the Pope, Timmerman and all those who live by their values, state them openly and while mutually respecting the person do not accept the argument that tolerance means agreeing with opposing values.

By Roland | 25 December 2012 2:54 PM

It is amazing to me that when "the dish washer" or for that matter anyone else says some thing like 'I like marriage to be between a lady and a gentleman' it never gets to the front page.
But let a "pope" say some thing and right away the so called "" gay"" (the word "gay" used to mean happy BTW) their "gay" society gets their nuts tangled up. They are hypocrites and on top of that a very small but vocal minority and they have a way too large an influence (no democratic) on our society IMO too much political correctness!.

By tobias | 26 December 2012 6:34 AM

The Pope is an idiot. Because of the 'beliefs' he spreads, the world has been flooded with problems, too many kids in Africa that can't be fed etc. if there was a god, there would be no discrimination nor disease and hunger. And as for the definition of marriage, it's the union of two people, whether its same sex or not is irrelevant. Who gives a crap what the pope says, the Netherlands should be proud od themselves for allowing gay marriage, yes marriage, not civil union! Everyone has the right to be happy.

By S | 26 December 2012 11:44 PM

Once again the Pope, and the Catholic Church demonstrate how they represent inequality and prejudice above human well being and happiness. Religion needs to be put aside in order for the world to move on to a better place.

By Andy | 26 December 2012 11:51 PM

Hey "s" sorry, but these are not marriages. You can claim that all you like but it doesn't make it true. You might as well say that the world is flat. In a few hundred years they might be accepted as such, but not now.

By scraps | 28 December 2012 4:53 PM

All this commotion because two people want to play house together and in order to stir up the community, want to call it marriage also.
My previous comments expressing the same are rejected however, calling the Pope an idiot is allowed to be printed.
Unbelievably, what?

By Hank Kemp | 31 December 2012 12:35 PM

Yes, Henk. Because he is promoting bigotry. Gay couples want the opposite.

And, scraps, yes, they ARE marriages. They love as much as you. They have the same dreams as you. The only difference is that they don't pro-create. Big deal. Many straight couples get married with no intention of pro-creating either.

One's private life is none of your business. Nor the pope's. Get over it.

And scraps, with that attitude, African Americans would still be drinking in separate water fountains because idiots can't accept it. Rights are not to be voted on. They should just be.

By CW | 31 December 2012 2:35 PM

Nice response, CW.

And @ufo: It's not like people "turn" gay, they are born that way. And statistically, not that many people are gay. Thus, your argument that the human race would go extinct is purely ridiculous. Not to mention that getting married has NO impact on the procreation rate whatsoever. This is just one more made up reason to hate and interfere in the lives of others.

By Stupid | 31 December 2012 4:59 PM

I'm against expanding the definition of marriage to anything but monogamous heterosexual time-indefinite unions.

Other unions can have equivalent rights (inheritance, representation), just give them another name.

By A.L. | 31 December 2012 5:43 PM

Ufo says "If this repect is going to harm the society or the greater good, is pursuing this respect a selfish act?"

Here's news for you Ufo - humans are not in danger of dying out because of vast proportions deciding to become gay. Nobody chooses to be gay in the first place, and certainly not because gay marriage might be allowed.

And Kemp - a loving couple who are gay are not "playing house" to "stir up the community". It ain't about you. Leave the gays alone, that's all they want.

By glenn_uk | 31 December 2012 8:29 PM

One day,maybe not in my lifetime,I admit,but one day,the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope of that time will apologise to gay men and women for centuries of persecution.

By Lee | 1 January 2013 1:05 AM

De family tree, planted with much fanfare when Peter married Wim, eventually died for lack of roots.

The Pope voiced his opinion about it and all because it is not in line with the opinions of people who are trying to make something normal what in reality is not normal, he is labeled being a bigot and an idiot.

These responses can not be called having a civilized exchange of opinions and neither can it be called constructive.

Putting drinking fountains into the marriage definitions indicates just how desperate the defense has become.

Concerning pro creation which according to you is no big deal, the decision not to have children by a man and a woman is called their choice.

By Hank Kemp | 1 January 2013 1:50 AM

Ufo says "If this repect is going to harm the society or the greater good, is pursuing this respect a selfish act?"

Here's news for you Ufo - humans are not in danger of dying out because of vast proportions deciding to become gay. Nobody chooses to be gay in the first place, and certainly not because gay marriage might be allowed.

And Kemp - a loving couple who are gay are not "playing house" to "stir up the community". It ain't about you. Leave the gays alone, that's all they want.

By glenn_uk | 1 January 2013 3:57 AM

you are comparing apples to oranges
giving people basic human rights and dignity is not the same as attempting to change the accepted definition of something that has existed for thousands of years. I have gay people in my family I totally agree that they should be able to do what they want and be happy.
my point was over the problem a lot of people have in calling these unions marriages. Personally, i dont care what anyone does, its none of my concern. its not like im campaigning against gay rights or anything. it was an observation about why there may be such opposition.

By scraps | 1 January 2013 4:50 AM


The findings from a recent UK online ComRes poll of 541 adults who described themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
More than a quarter 26 percent believe there is no need to change the law on marriage because civil partnerships give couples the same rights. And 72 percent believe marriage is “more about love between two people than it is about rearing children. This why traditional marriage between a man and a woman should never be changed to suit a very small minority. Not many Dutch gay people have even bothered to take advantage of gay marriage since its introduction in 2001. This whole issue is becoming a political farce?


By Common Sense | 1 January 2013 11:23 AM


Gay Marriage facts?

The typical legal case involves a lesbian couple, one of whom has a baby through artificial reproductive technology. Usually the father is an anonymous sperm donor. The sexual relationship between the two women breaks down. The mother no longer wants her former sex partner to have anything to do with her child. The former lover never legally adopted the child. The former lover goes to court to obtain parental rights. She is not related to the child, either by blood or adoption. The legal issue at stake is whether the court can assign parental rights to a non parent. Redefining marriage redefines parenthood. Redefining marriage expands the state into homes like never before seen?

By Common Sense | 1 January 2013 11:30 AM

In a recent statement Pope Benedict cited feminist gender theorist Simone de Beauvoir's view to the effect that one is not born a woman, but one becomes so – that sex was no longer an element of nature but a social role people chose for themselves. "The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious," he said) Is the Pope so wrong to have a point of view, are we still allowed to disagree with gay marriage, these days, it would appear not?


By Transparancy | 1 January 2013 11:42 AM

A recent study from the Netherlands, researchers found that, even among stable homosexual partnerships, men have an average of eight partners per year outside their "monogamous" relationship. Does, gay marriage encourage more commitment, or do gay married relationships still remain open? I think that the latter prevails, then one must ask, do gay marriages have the same values as traditional heterosexual marriages? This cannot be the best circumstance to raise children, surely a stable family unit without essential core values will affect our society in the long term?


By Inconvenient Truth | 1 January 2013 1:37 PM

" If everyone has same sex partner, human will be exinct in no time. "

The law makes same sex marriage legal; not compulsory.

It's not that difficult to understand.

By Rosemarijn | 1 January 2013 5:25 PM

"giving people basic human rights and dignity is not the same as attempting to change the accepted definition of something that has existed for thousands of years."

Has it?

And who cares how long it's been around? About time it changed then.

Especially since it's none of your business and changes your life not one iota.

Unless of course, you think your relationship is more "spe-shul". And that's what upsets me. It's so high school: "You're not exactly like me so I don't want you in my clique". Grow up.

And the pope can say anything he wants. And so can I. An unmarried apparently celibate old man is hardly an expert on relationships, is he?

By CW | 1 January 2013 5:27 PM

Well, Common Sense, lets just ban marriage altogether because there may be legal complications.

In fact, let's just ban everything that might require legal intervention. Yep. That solves everything.

By CW | 1 January 2013 5:30 PM

Gays can legally marry in the Netherlands since 2001. More then 10 years already. I don't get the impression it hurt the tradition of marriage for heterosexual couples, nor did it redefine what marriage stands for.

By pepe | 1 January 2013 6:15 PM

Some really sickening comments. It is about equal rights. If the subject was race nobody would even dare to voice any of these opinions. But apparently homosexuals are fair game.
Gays have equal rights in the Netherlands. If you can't deal with that then this is not the right country for you.

By pepe | 1 January 2013 6:23 PM

@CW: it does change my life. It is better for everyone to have another name (with same objective rights) for homosexual unions of 2 persons.

And I'll tell how this affect me. I go to some business, a doctor, an office government. I say I'm "married". I'd be annoyed and furious if the person had to ask "married to a woman or to another man"?

Marriage should imply the person: (1) has a partner; (2) has only one partner; (3) is in a monogamous relationship; (4) the partner is of the opposite sex (XX / XY)

By A.L. | 2 January 2013 2:39 AM

I don't think that my relationship is "spe-shul" and I don't need to grow up. You need to work on your reading comprehension. What part of " I don't care what anyone does, it's none of my concern" do you not understand? Maybe if you let go of your persecution complex you would understand, but its much easier to lash out at everyone who is "oppressing" you, right?
What do you expect the head of the catholic church to say? Gays have the right to marry in the Netherlands so what are you
whingeing about? Again, my point had to do with the opposition to accepting the term gay marriage. If you can't understand that, I suppose another vitriolic response will be forthcoming.

By scraps | 2 January 2013 6:29 AM

pepe - thank you, great comment and spot on! 'It is about equal rights. If the subject was race nobody would even dare to voice any of these opinions. But apparently homosexuals are fair game.'
Some commenters on here seem to forget that nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce, which is not good in any way for kids. Why not focus on encouraging all marriages to be sacred bonds and a REAL commitment to love, gay or straight, and especially before thinking of adopting or having children? The Pope is outdated and confused. We are not living in 1713 Mr Pope, it is now 2013. You have so much influence that could be used in a positive way.

By paul | 2 January 2013 8:49 AM

First of all, freedom of speech! Everyone has the right to say what he/she thinks right. The pope is only fulfilling his mission of avoiding the extinction human nature. A marriage of two(2) individuals of the same sex doesn't bring in life and therefore jeopardizes the future!

By Naniwewe | 2 January 2013 9:28 AM

(The Civil Partnership Act did away with unfairness; today, more than 20,000 gay Britons enjoy the rights and responsibilities conferred by marriage. But the gay marriage lobby does not think this enough. Fairness is all very well: what they seek, however, is equality, including in terms of access to marriage. And those who oppose this, on whatever grounds, are accused of anti-gay propaganda?)


By Inconvenient Truth | 2 January 2013 9:33 AM

Rights versus beliefs - if for all intents and purposes the same rights in law apply, who cares what the union is called. It is ludicrous to demand that just because public attitudes have mellowed over the past decades, religious institutions have to change their belief. It is their belief - and their right to believe that it should not be so.

By Peter | 2 January 2013 4:34 PM

Heh! Politicians bother with what a church person is saying? What year is this?

By kakos | 2 January 2013 4:51 PM

Why all the turmoil?
I would have thought the popes views on gay marriage were well known by now. The Catholic Church are not known for being shy when it comes to publicizing their opinions.

By Donaugh | 2 January 2013 5:45 PM

@Glenn_uk, before you respond, learn to read but most of all try to comprehend.
You suggest for me to leave gays alone which is precisely what you are not doing.

As it looks like you want to be their spokesperson, why not try to take straight out of the dictionary, because that word alone says it all.

Try to look up the opposite of straight and you'll find yourself slowly being directed into a different world.

You want an official gay marriage and I, for obvious reasons, want a family marriage.

That condition does not warrant for you to be intolerant toward anybody not agreeing with you, neither does it make you a mind reader.

By Hank Kemp | 3 January 2013 1:25 AM

Some people 'unique' sexual orientation including doing it with animals so they should marry in the church? The church is for straight people.

By auto | 3 January 2013 9:28 AM

I am entitled to my opinion just like the many people who supported gays here. Today, NL may legalised people marrying their gay partners and what if one day someone wanna marry their pets? Tolerance and legal status are two different thing. I am tolerance towards gays but sensitive towards the legal thingy. Gays can continue to live happily together and have as many fun as they want but marrying in a church for straight people is as good as intruding their rights.

By ufo | 3 January 2013 9:39 AM

Whether it is anti gay or anti straight propaganda, the bigger picture has to be taken into account. Sexuality may after all be affected by hormones which is determined by the food we eat and the water we drink and the air we breathe. It may change form from time to time.

By theo | 3 January 2013 9:44 AM

I think the Catholic church shoul concentrate on the many child abusers they have in service other than persecuting someone else.So how come this church has abused so many children but no one seems to care?How many of theses abusers have been prosecuted?

By jason buttle | 3 January 2013 11:29 AM

I guess I better divorce then, Naniwewe because my husband and I are 50+ and aren't having children. And all those infertile couples or those who don't WANT children: forced divorce!

Scraps, it's a marriage exactly like yours. THAT'S what I mean. By denying them the word, you deny them equality.

A.L. how horribly intrusive to be asked what gender your spouse is! Even though, in the 10 years it's been legal here, I doubt ANYBODY has been asked that.

I guess it's also time to get the marriage police to check up on open opposite sex marriages and where the spouse is cheating? Mind your own business.

By CW | 3 January 2013 1:14 PM

Is there some credible reason that the leader of a religious organization should be required to embrace immorality? Is there a credible reason why immorality is good, solely because one small nation was first to legalize a travesty? Just asking!

By Drawer 22 | 3 January 2013 8:16 PM

“What counts as consummation in gay relationships?” (This has to be established in order to make it the grounds for gay divorce, as it is for straight) and “Should gay people be allowed to marry in a Catholic church?” Also, should Catholic Priests be forced to marry them? Unfortunately, The European Court of Human Rights stands menacingly in the shadows awaiting the right moment to take a legal stance against Christian churches that object to forced same sex marriages taking place in their churches? It looks like the UK will usher in the first test cases in the future should gay marriage become legislation. For many, this is an intolerable situation, which may lead to intolerance of the gay militant lobby.

By Liberalism Gone Mad | 6 January 2013 2:16 PM

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