D66 (Democrats) wants to adapt the non-discrimination legislation to sharpen the ban on discrimination of gays. At this moment discrimination of gays is possible under certain circumstances. Member of parliament Boris van der Ham presents a proposal to ban this loophole. Under the current legislation it is possible to discriminate gays in the education system. Although discrimination on the basis of homosexuality itself is illegal, specific circumstances make it possible for religious schools to refuse gays from teaching positions. Van der Ham: “This means that personnel in these schools are allowed to be gay as long as they keep this fact a secret, which is of course ridiculous; a very twisted construction.”
Independent experts have concluded in 2004 that these ‘specific circumstances’ as mentioned in our non-discrimination laws are outside the European guidelines (2000/78/EG). Based on that advice the European Commission has objected to this practice and has given the Dutch government 2 months to respond. The non-discrimination legislation is up for evaluation this year but it’s not likely that the construction will be taken out.
This was included in 1994 and supported especially by parties like the CDA (Christian Democrats) and the ChristenUnie (United Christian Parties). D66 wants to increase the pressure by preparing this proposal to scrap the clause in both article 5 section 2, as well as article 7 section 2.
These articles don’t just affect gays and lesbians, but could also be used in case of certain political views, race, gender, nationality or marital status. The representatives of PvdA (Social Democrats), VVD (Liberals), SP (Socialists) and GroenLinks (Greens) have also already spoken out against the clause in the past and D66 has invited them to take part in its initiative.