Gay en Lesbian couples have been able to get married (in a way that their marriage is legally protected by law) in the Netherlands since 1 April 2001. This is one of the Dutch policies Native Dutches are proud of, beside those of soft drugs & legal prostitution.
The idea is still Flower Power, Make Love not War! But this idea is perhaps coming to its end since the new administration, consisted of 3 political parties whose leaders have strong christian background, has limited the homo emancipation (this word is often used by Dutch papers).
Till now, all authorised civil servants are obliged to execute gay & lesbian marriages whether this is against their religions, principals or not. With the current administration, it is now possible for civil servants to object not to execute a marriage of a couple with the same sex. Most of the pro’s (with them is Job Cohen, Amsterdam’s major, the gay capital of Europe) find this a step back to what they call homo emancipation.
Everybody has a right to be happy & pursue this. On the other hand, you can’t force people to do something they don’t believe in.
Me, as a foreigner living here I think this case is indeed an example of Dutch democracy in its purest form.