|Netherlands||CHURCHES DIVIDED ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE|
The Dutch Parliament's adoption of a bill authorising gay marriages this month, has led to heated debate in Dutch Church circles. |
The bill, which still has to be passed by another chamber of the Dutch Parliament to become law, gives partners in same-sex unions the same rights and privileges as married, heterosexual couples.
While some Protestant ministers and Catholic priests announced that they would bless gay unions, other Church leaders, including the Dutch Catholic Bishops' Conference, have condemned such ceremonies.
Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, President of the Dutch Catholic Episcopal Conference, has been prominent in opposing same-sex marriages, but according to Catholic sources, an increasing number of Catholic priests are ignoring his statements and actually blessing homosexual couples.
|29 Sep 00|