250 Protestant ministers in the Netherlands have signed a Dutch version of the Nashville Statement, a controversial text that has its origins on the US Evangelical movement and seen as an assault of LGBTQ rights.

The 14-paragraph Nashville thesis argues that “marriage is the ‘covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman” and that the “divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.”

Going beyond these beliefs, the text also suggests that “sin distorts sexual desires” and that it is possible “to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,” implying that homosexuality and transgenderism can be cured.

Of political significance are the signatures of the Protestant fundamentalist party (SGP) leader, Kees van der Staaij, and Senator Diederik van Dijk. The SGP believes the Netherlands should be governed “entirely on the basis of the ordinances of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.”

SGP won 2.1% of the vote in the 2017 legislative elections and control three out of 150-seats in the  house of the Netherlands (Tweede Kamer).

All the signatories to this declaration are men, NU.nl reports.

The pastors hail from the Restored Reformed Church, the Reformed Congregations, the Christian Reformed Churches and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN).

The statement was condemned both by the Dutch government, a number of political parties, and human rights groups. Emancipation minister Ingrid van Engelshoven condemned the Dutch version of the statement as a ‘step back in time.’

“We still have a long way to go. Emancipation is far from done,” Engelshoven Tweeted.

“Where there is love and care for each other, there is God” Tweeted the Christian Democratic Party (CDA) chairman and former pastor Ruth Peetoom.

The LGBTQ advocacy organization COC Nederland called the statement harmful and merciless, the Dutch public news agency NOS reports.