Local paper editor apologises after interview with young gay couple enrages religious readers

Two guysThe editor of weekly paper Eilanden-Nieuws, which is distributed on the staunchly Protestant island of Goeree-Overflakkee in Zeeland, has apologised for carrying an interview with a young gay couple.

The article about Arjan Kamp (20) and Menno Smit (18) was part of a series about young people living in the region but was regarded with horror by many of the paper’s orthodox religious readers.

Editor Adri van der Laan and director Ab van der Veer have now published an apology saying that the article ‘gave too big a stage to a way of living which most of our readers don’t recognise and which is not in line with the founding principles of Eilanden-Nieuws’.

The free paper describes itself as a ‘Christian news media with founded on reformed Protestant principles.’

The apology enraged other readers who have said they no longer want the paper in their letter box. Some people have called on the paper’s editor to resign.

The local mayor Jan Pieter Lokker has also expressed the council’s opposition to discrimination on grounds of sexual preference.

Last year research by the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP said some 58% of orthodox Protestants in the Netherlands think homosexuality is wrong, making them the most anti-gay religious group in the country.

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