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Jul. 22nd, 2012 @ 10:00 am Human rights trump religious bigotry
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
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The SGP, the christian fundamentalist political party in the Netherlands, has a stature that women can't be elected in office -- because of something in the bible. But in our constitution, it says that people can't be discriminated against based on sex. A legal battle ensued, and the highest court in the Netherlands ruled that their rules are indeed unconstitutional.
The SGP appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. And lost.

I find it very interesting that all the courts (and the ECHR is the highest court that could rule on this case -- there is no possibility to appeal this decision) ruled that yes, you have freedom of religion, but that does not mean you can discriminate against others based on their sex (or anything, really). It is also interesting that the court specifies that equality is so fundamental to the European principles that it trumps other freedoms and rights.

I am proud to be a European.

(Also, what this means for the SGP is that they will be forced to allow women to try for a position on the list for the general elections. However, the members of the party vote on the list, so there's actually zero chance that a woman will ever be on the list for the SGP. And that's OK with me, actually -- because the membershave the right to assemble the list they want, just like all the other political parties. But the discriminatory stature will have to go.)
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From:zolphia
Date:July 22nd, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
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However, the members of the party vote on the list, so there's actually zero chance that a woman will ever be on the list for the SGP.

Actually, since the female SGP members are also hardcore in their beliefs, I don't expect any woman to even want to be on the list. Which is even sadder.

Still, good that an objective institution corrected them. It may not change anything in practice, but the message is now out there.
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From:luna_puella
Date:July 22nd, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
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It is sad, but in my opinion it's better that they're not on the list because they don't want to, than because they're not allowed to. At least now they have the choice to try - and who knows, maybe in the future a female SGP member will think "hey, I believe in most of what my party has to say, but not this part" and actually try to get on...
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