Officials who perform marriage ceremonies in Amsterdam’s New West (Nieuw-West) district will have to undergo an evaluation each year to ascertain their stand on marrying same-sex partners.
Democrat D66 alderman Ronald Mauer decided to introduce the measure after it was revealed that two officials in the municipality refused to perform gay marriages. Amsterdam was supposedly free of all ‘conscientious objectors’ and, since 2007, only employs officials who are willing to marry same-sex couples.
Neither of the two marriage commissioners who refuse to officiate at same-sex services is Muslim. Both are women. One was employed before 2007 while the other stated she did not have any objections to same-sex marriages during her job interview last year.
The district council is currently investigating the case of the second official to see whether she changed her mind since being taken on as a marriage commissioner or whether she told a barefaced lie. Mr Mauer is looking into which disciplinary measures can be taken if it transpires the woman lied. She could face dismissal.