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Liberal Philosophers and Political Parties on Religious Tolerance

a case study on the position of VVD and D66 on Christian wedding officiants who refuse to marry same-sex couples

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Liberal Philosophers and Political Parties on Religious Tolerance

a case study on the position of VVD and D66 on Christian wedding officiants who refuse to marry same-sex couples

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. Yet in 2012, it was estimated that around 87 Christian wedding officiants continued to refuse to marry gay couples due to their religious beliefs. Even though municipalities were allowed to hire these so-called ‘refusing wedding officiants’, they were still obliged to contract same-sex marriages and this obligation has never been violated. However, the refusal of a wedding officiant to contract a same-sex marriage was still a violation of the Equal Treatment Act. This violation was the key motivation for the Dutch liberal parties, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Democrats 66 (D66), to implement a new law which outlaws the right to conscientious objections in the case of the refusing wedding officiant.
The goal of this dissertation was to determine the extent to which the VVD and D66 adhere to the principles on religious tolerance, developed by liberal philosophers Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and John Stuart Mill. This extent was determined by examining the ban of the refusing wedding officiant. Throughout this research, two forms of qualitative research methods have been used. The first method relates to the extensive literature review on the writings of each of these philosophers, which was essential to clarify their individual position on religious tolerance and personal freedom. Secondly, multiple interviews were conducted to obtain further insights into the debates on the refusing wedding officiants and religious tolerance in general.
In addition, other cases have been examined as well, including the proposal of mandatory vaccination, the ban of the ‘single-fact’ construction and the proposed limitations on the educational freedom of Christian schools. Following these discussions, it was found that the views of the Dutch liberal parties on religious tolerance, correspond relatively well with the philosophy of Hobbes in comparison to the principles of Locke and Mill. It was concluded that Locke’s suggested separation of church and state, as well as the harm principle developed by Mill, are not applied by the Dutch liberal parties, which becomes evident by examining the case study of the refusing wedding officiant. Moreover, this same case study illustrated that the views of Hobbes on the authority of the state and the right to conscientious objections are similar to the ideas of both the VVD and D66.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2015
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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