A Dutch translation of the anti-LGBTQ Nashville declaration is not punishable, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said on Thursday. The Prosecutor said it does not deny that the statements made in the declaration hurt people, but in this case they are protected by both the freedom of religion and the freedom of expression.
A majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament wants gas stations and supermarkets to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by next year. According to the CDA and ChristenUnie motion, tobacco products should only be available in specialist shops, AD reports.
The parties want the government to make agreements with supermarkets and gas stations on this matter. If these stores do not stick to the agreements, the government should force them with a legal obligation. This plan is supported by the CDA, ChristenUnie, D66, SP, GroenLinks, PvdA, 50Plus, PvdD, and SGP.
Support for a nationwide ban on firecrackers and rockets is growing within the political parties, including within the coalition. Coalition parties D66 and ChristenUnie called for such a ban. And two VVD mayors went against their party's position to call for such a ban, NOS reports.
Acting mayor Johan Remkes of The Hague argued for an "enforceable ban on firecrackers and rockets" for consumers on television program Buitenhof. And mayor Jan van Zanen of Utrecht asked the VVD to cooperate in a ban on all consumer fireworks.
Four political parties have teamed up on a proposal to reduce the highway speed limit in Den Haag to 80 kilometers per hour. The parties, including the city’s governing coalition members GroenLinks and D66, have also called for a ban on older diesel vehicles and an expansion of the city’s environmental zones.
The rule changes also have the backing of the animal rights party PvdD and the Christian party bloc CU/SGP. Together the four groups represent 20 of the city’s 45 council seats.
Another five political parties joined the call of youth movement Coalitie-Y to abolish the student loan system. The manifesto to this effect will be handed to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday evening, the night before Budget Day, the Volkskrant reports.
Parliamentarians from both opposition and coalition parties expressed concerns about increasingly intimidating anti-abortion, anti-choice demonstrations at abortion clinics in the Netherlands. Oppositions parties GroenLinks, PvdA, SP, PvdD and 50Plus and ruling party VVD issued a joint call to protect women's right to safely choose abortion, NOS and RTL Nieuws report.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema and a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, are all against extremist Christian preacher Steven Anderson visiting the Netherlands. The American preacher plans to do some "soul winning" and give a sermon in Amsterdam on May 23rd.
The Public Prosecution Service will assess whether the controversial Nashville declaration is punishable, the Prosecutor announced after a commotion arose about a Dutch translation of the anti-LGBTQ text that has now been signed by hundreds of pastors and other orthodox Christians in the Netherlands. How long this assessment will take, is not yet clear, AD reports.
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.
Hundreds of Dutch Protestant pastors, prominent people in the church, as well as the party leader and a senator of Christian party SGP, signed a manifesto against LGBTQ people. The manifesto argues that marriage is meant to only be a covenant between one man and one woman, and that good Christians should always reject homosexuality. It also suggests that your sexual identity is something you can be healed of.
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer want the government to amend Article 10 of a special emergency law for the Brexit. The 'Brexit Collective Law' will be implemented if the United Kingdom breaks with the European Union with no agreements in place. But the parliamentarians feel the law gives too much power to one minister and uncontrollable powers to the government, NOS reports.
A large majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament supports the government's intention to sign the United Nations' new migration pact next week, was revealed in a debate on the matter on Tuesday.
In addition to coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, the pact is also supported by GroenLinks, PvdA and DENK, NU.nl reports PVV, 50Plus, SGP and FvD are against the pact. They fear that migrants may derive new rights form the pact. PvdD and SP are still considering.
Alexander Pechtold is resigning as leader of the parliamentary faction of the D66, he announced at the party congress in Den Bosch on Saturday. The party will choose a successor on Tuesday. It is "time for a new generation", Pechtold said n his farewell speech, NU.nl reports.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs survived a motion of no confidence in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday about statements he made on multicultural societies. Many opposition parties voted against him, but he still has the support of the coalition, NU.nl reports.
Dutch municipalities will get the possibility to ban fireworks over New Year's. A majority in parliament supports this plan, and the government can live with such a local fireworks ban, turned out during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday evening, ANP reports.
The Dutch authorities made multiple mistakes while investigating the fireworks disaster at SE Fireworks in Enschede on May 13th, 2000, according to the results of a four year long investigation by former MEP Paul van Buitenen. The Public Prosecutor deliberately misled the judiciary to make sure that the criminal investigation had only one conclusion - that the government was not to blame, Van Buitenen concluded, NOS reports.
A majority in the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, is in favor of a partial ban on wearing face-covering clothing. During a debate in the Senate, the VVD, CDA, PVV, ChristenUnie and SGP supported a legislative proposal for such a ban. The D66, SP, PvdA and GroenLinks are against it, NOS reports.
A "new, more upscale" Dutch flag was placed in the large parliamentary chamber of the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, after criticism on the appearance of the temporary flag.
Late last year a temporary flag was placed in the chamber on the initiative of the SGP and PVV. Critics called the flag too small and said that the foot in which the flag stood looked like a piece of cheese, according to ANP.
The SGP faction in Dantumadiel, Friesland removed a campaign video posted on its Facebook page on Saturday after facing fierce criticism. In the video, faction leader Tom Bakker talked about the consequences of divorce and said that "there is almost always something wrong" with children from broken families, AD reports.
Eleven Amsterdam political parties signed an agreement on Tuesday night aimed at strengthening the interests of the Jewish community in the Dutch capital. "With this agreement the parties state that the city will cherish its Jewish history and will care for its Jewish inhabitants", Ruben Vis, secretary of the organization for Jewish municipalities NIK and initiator of this agreement, said, Het Parool reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants to get rid of the European Commission's task force against spreading fake news, the so-called EUvsDisinfo. This follows the task force naming a number of Dutch news services as spreaders of fake news, Het Parool reports.
The Dutch news services involved are NPO Radio 1, the Gelderlander, GeenStijl and The Post Online. According to the task force, pro-Russian propaganda gained the upper hand in a few reports from these organizations.
Despite fierce resistance from opposition parties, a narrow majority in the Tweede Kamer supports the government's plan to abolish the advisory referendum. There will also be no referendum on this abolishment, AD reports.
The Netherlands' center for information and documentation on Israel, CIDI, worries that an "explosion of violence" will result from the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, director Hanna Luden said to NOS. Donald Trump is expected to officially announce later today that the United States is moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. ChristenUnie thinks the Netherlands should follow suit, parliamentarian Joel Voordewind said to BNR.
The new coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are debating their new government agreement with the opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, on Thursday. As far as Prime Minister Mark Rutte is concerned, the government agreement is not set in stone and the coalition is open to discussing changes with the opposition parties, NU.nl reports.