Christian party leader sticking to anti-LGBTQ manifesto

SGP leader Kees van der Staaij is sticking to the Nashville declaration, which he and hundreds of pastors of the Dutch Protestant Church signed, even after a storm of criticism. The declaration explicitly rejects homosexuality and transgender people, and suggests sexual orientation and gender are things people can be "cured" of. It also stresses that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman.

"The Nashville declaration reflects the classic Christian notions on relationships and sexuality on a current and much-discussed theme. These notions are shared across borders of churches and countries", Van der Staaij said in a statement on the Christian party's website. "The SGP has never made a secret of standing for the biblical notions of marriage, family and sexuality. In line with this I have Indicated that I can agree with the scope of the Nashville declaration."

"I find the comprehensive afterword in the Dutch version particularly valuable", Van der Staaij said. "It rightly emphasizes the great responsibility for careful handling of people who have probing questions about their sexual orientation and gender. These notions are an essential addition to the declaration for me."

Francis van Broekhuizen, ambassador of Gay Pride, pressed charges against Van der Staaij. "That whole pamphlet is a call for discrimination against LGBTQ people", he said to NPO Radio 4. "I really feel hurt and very sad. We're going back in time. As an ambassador for Pride, I want to send a signal here."

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