Monday 22 July 2019

Nashville statement backers stop collecting signatures, pledge review

The orthodox Protestants behind the Dutch version of the controversial Nashville statement on gender and sexuality have decided to stop collecting signatures pending a review.

Church minister Maarten Klaassen told Trouw on Thursday that the initiative takers had decided that the time is now ‘ripe for reflection’.

‘The declaration has caused a tremendous stir,’ he said. ‘We note that some of the sections of text are confusing and others are not being read as we intended. That requires an additional statement from us, which we are now going to work on.’

The document, signed by around 250 hardline Protestant ministers, states that marriage is the ‘covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman’ and that ‘it it is sinful to approve of homosexual impurity or transgenderism.’

A spokesman for the public prosecution service said last week it is examining the statement to see if there was any basis for a criminal investigation.

One of the signatories to the Nashville Statement is MP Kees van der Staaij, leader of the testimonial party SGP which has three seats in parliament and draws most of its support from the Dutch bible belt.

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