Christian charity funding cut over opposition to homosexual relationships

A Dutch Christian charity had its government funding withdrawn after pressure from MPs over its opposition to active homosexual relationships.

The Gospel CoalitionThe charity has insisted it will carry on its objectives despite the funding cut.

Government minister Jet Bussemaker said Hart van Homo's would not receive further government money after the Netherlands' ruling Party for Freedom and Democracy argued the charity, which encourages celibacy for gay Christians, sent out the wrong message.

Hart van Homo's, which roughly translates as "heart for gays", says gay Christians should "opt for friendship without a sexual relationship". It represents a number of other organisations which aim to create more acceptance of homosexuality within churches.

The government U-turn came after Hart van Homo's was revealed to have received state money through an umbrella foundation, LCC+, which represents a number of organisations that aim to create more acceptance of homosexuality within churches. At first Bussemaker said she was confident the charity would not proscribe how gay Christians should live their lives. But now the minister has stopped funding the LCC+ foundation. She has asked them to submit a new application without Hart van Homo's.

"This is a question of principle, not money," one Labour MP Keklik Yücel said. "Should we be subsidising an organisation which conflicts with emancipation?"

The charity has said it will continue its work, despite the cut in funding.

In the UK a similar charity, Living Out, which supports celibacy for same-sex attracted Christians, caused controvery when it was granted charity status. Conservative MP Mike Freer said he was suprised at the decision and said the group "was gay cure therapy rebranded".

Living Out denied the charge.

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