Hundreds of Dutch gay rights activists dressed in pink wigs stormed out of Mass yesterday in protest of a local Catholic priest's refusal to give communion to a gay man. The dispute began last month when the man, crowned Carnival prince in a nearby town, was denied communion because he is openly gay. The man protested that he wants equal treatment: If he's refused communion because the church sees homosexuality as a sin, it should deny communion to all sinners.
Support for gay rights runs strong in the Netherlands, which in 2001 became the first country to legalize gay marriage, and many in the local community were outraged at the church's behavior. The church in the town of Den Bosch was expecting yesterday's protest and so didn't offer communion at all; the protesters then left the church shouting and singing.