The orthodox Christian party ChristenUnie has decided against drawing up a list of reasons which would exclude people from becoming MPs, such as homosexuality, but says personal lifestyles will be part of the political selection process.
The recommendations were drawn up by a committee after the party’s stand on homosexuality came under pressure from members who said gays should be banned.
ChristenUnie, which has three MPs, is part of the three-party coalition government. While orthodox on Christianity – its members do not believe in evolution, for example – ChristenUnie is left of centre on social issues.
The committee recommends that rather than focus on what politicians are not allowed to do, MPs and local councillors must always be answerable to the Bible as the word of God.
One of the nine members of the committee refused to back the decision and called on the ChristenUnie to ban gay men who live with another man and Roman Catholics from becoming MPs.
Party leader André Rouvoet, who is minister for the family in the cabinet, said he shared the committee’s view that all the party’s representatives should be required to ‘pass the same test’. Their political credibility is coupled to both Biblical principles and the political party programme, he said in a statement.
Gay rights lobby group COC told news agency ANP it was disappointed the party had not come up with a concrete position on homosexuality. By making Biblical principles paramount ‘it is clear that homosexuals are excluded from party functions,’ chairman Frank van Dalen said.
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