The Dutch News website reports that minister for emancipation Marja van Bijsterveldt told members of parliament (MPs) today (June 8, 2011) that civil servants in the Netherlands who have religious objections to gay marriage can refuse to marry same-sex couples.
The exception was worked into the legislation sanctioning same-sex weddings when it came into effect 10 years ago and continues to be the case, Bijsterveldt said.
Vera Bergkamp -- head of the gay rights lobby COC (Center for Culture) -- said the minister's position showed "some people are more equal than others."
According to COC research, 58 local councils employ a total of 102 registrars who refuse to marry same-sex couples. Nearly all are orthodox Christians.