Gay student wins discrimination ruling against Christian garden center

Bas van der Meer and his boyfriend (Photo: Bas van der Meer/Facebook). (Bas van der Meer and his boyfriend (Photo: Bas van der Meer/Facebook))

The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights ruled in favor of a 25-year-old gay student from Groningen who filed a case after being rejected for an internship at a Christian agricultural supply center because he was openly gay. According to the Board, this is discrimination and therefore illegal.

Student Bas van der Meer applied for an internship at A. Th. De Boer. After two successful interviews he received an email in November saying that he was rejected because he is openly gay and that does not fit with the company's Christian beliefs. The company spotted a photo of Van der Meer and his boyfriend on Facebook.

"We are a Christian company and for us this is a point we can not let go", the organization wrote in the email, AD reported in November. "As nowhere in God's word does He approve of you living out your sexual orientation, disapproves in fact, and for us His Word serves as a guideline, we can not take you on (because I obey Him more than people)."

The Board for the Protection of Human Rights ruled that the company broke the law by discriminating against Van der Meer based on his sexual orientation. According to the Board, the company is not allowed to distinguish between a homosexual and heterosexual person when hiring an intern.

On Facebook Van der Meer stated that he is thrilled with the ruling. "Very nice to hear that this was discrimination, and that the law still stands above religion", he wrote.