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Apologies for Interview with Gay Couple ‘truly sad’

by our Editors in Lifestyle & Fashion , 22 november 2015


“It is a truly sad thing that the editorial staff of magazine the Eilanden-Nieuws apologised for something that is so right - showing that there are lesbian, homosexual and transgender boys and girls in Christian orthodox circles.”

Tanja Ineke, the President of COC Netherlands responded thus to the news that a door-to-door magazine from the municipality Goeree-Overflakkee apologised to its mostly strict Calvinist readers for publishing an interview with a young gay couple. Ineke suggests that the Eilanden-Nieuws should make things right by publishing an interview with a Christian LGBT organisation in the next edition.

Editor in chief Adri van der Laan of door-to-door magazine Eilanden-Nieuws apologised for the interview with a gay couple in the September 4 edition. The interview in the series ‘The Twenty-somethings’ did not sit well with some of the subscribers.

”With the publication of this interview, too much attention was given to a lifestyle most readers of our subscription edition do not identify with. This lifestyle is also incompatible with the principles of the Eilanden-Nieuws.” This is the response of the editor in chief to reader’s complaints. On its website, Eilanden-Nieuws calls itself ‘a Christian news media with Calvinist principles’.

The editorial staff of the Eilanden-Nieuws came with a response to the controversy stirred up after their apology for the publication of an interview with a gay couple. The editorial staff released a statement that it was against discrimination of homosexuals, and that there should be room for homosexuals on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee (a statement that, according to the editorial staff, is backed up by an article on Coming Out Day in their magazine). They also state they will attend a meeting with gay organisation Gay op Flakkee on Thursday, September 17, and that the interview series ‘The Twenty-somethings’ will get a sequel.

They published a statement on the turmoil in the September 22 edition of Eilanden-Nieuws.

Reactions from Goeree-Overflakkee

Jan Pieter Lokker, acting mayor of Goeree-Overflakkee, also came out with a statement on RTV Rijnmond concerning the turmoil. In this statement, he says that the municipality Goeree-Overflakkee is there for all residents, irrespective of sexual orientation. Acting Mayor Lokker says that he will ‘firmly stand against any form of exclusion and/or discrimination’. The Mayor does emphasise that he will not interfere with ‘the content of media work when this content is not against the law. It is an issue between the magazine and its readers/subscribers’.

Two clergymen on the island stated in newspaper PZC not to understand the reactions on the apologies. According to them, the bible is very clear in its rejection of homosexuality. They want to offer pastoral care to those who are ‘struggling with their homosexuality’.

The local ChristenUnie also responded. Councillor Ron de Rover does not agree with both the editorial staff and the clergymen. “By apologising, the interviewed gay couple is surrounded by an atmosphere of condemnation. It is damaging to these boys, and the dialogue they wanted to initiate.”

The young men interviewed by Eilanden-Nieuws do not want to respond to the turmoil.
 



 







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