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It was a festive day for Dutch and American gays

March 4, 2010

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Yesterday, a dispute between a local Dutch parish and gay right groups came to an end after the Sint-Jan church in Den Bosch made a statement and gays called for an end to the protests.

The two clashed last month when an openly gay man was refused Holy Communion by his priest the same week he was chosen to be prince of the carnival – a prominent role in Dutch carnival celebrations. Leading up to the peace making yesterday, the church said it would leave it up to believers to decide whether they are ready to receive communion.

Had this happened in the US we probably wouldn’t have been that surprised. But it is remarkable in a country like the Netherlands where most people support gay rights and same sex marriage has been legal since 2001.

Interestingly enough on the same day the Catholic Church and Dutch gays mended fences, same sex marriage licenses became available in Washington DC. So, it was a festive day for gays on both sides of the ocean. The only damper on the party comes from Washington DC’s Catholic Charities. In response to the same sex equality law in their state they are cutting the spousal benefits program for their staff. Employees that are already married (the straight ones) will keep their coverage, but all new hires can wave it goodbye, gay or straight. The announcement follows last month’s decision by Catholic Charities to end its foster care and adoption program because the new law in same sex marriage would have compelled the agency to place children with qualified gay applicants. Only in America…

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