June 5, 2014
Currently, civil servants are allowed to refuse to carry out same-sex marriages. The escape clause was included in the initial legislation as a gesture to areas where strict Protestants dominate. Same-sex marriages have been legal in the Netherlands since April 2001.
All but one Christian Democrat senator and the two minor orthodox religious parties CU and SGP voted against the motion, which was passed by the lower house last year.
The change in the law will not affect registrars already doing the job; however, town council officials have the right to move them to other positions.
Research last year showed some 58 local councils employ a total of around 100 registrars who refuse to marry same-sex couples. Nearly all are orthodox Christians.