TU DELFT STOP PROTECTING ANTI-TRANS AND ANTI-GAY STATEMENTS AND FIRE NASHVILLE-PROFESSOR ETHICS AND SCIENCE-PHILOSOPHY [EN]

Co-sign in solidarity ! I want to co-sign in solidarity 

 

We, as people from the TU Delft community are shocked about Professor Marc de Vries signing the anti-LGBTQI+ Nashville-statement and in particular, we are shocked and outraged at the fact that TU Delft deliberately declared to not distance itself from the Nashville-statement and even protects Marc de Vries.

Nashville-statement
The Nashville-statement is a “statement of biblical sexuality” written by an ultra-conservative Protestant community. In this statement trans* people, gender fluids, non-binary people and homosexuality are rejected, declared to be sinful and encouraging ‘samaritans’  to actively oppose these “sins” [1]. In addition, the statement declares that sexuality would be an ‘ideology’ and thus a free choice, whereas scientific sources show that sexuality and gender-identity are not about free choice at all, but about who you are as a person [2]. According to the Nashville-statement, LGBTQI+ people are “sick” and should be “cured”, statements that emboldens bigots to stigmatize and attack the LGBTQI+ community. The suicide rates of trans*people are 9 times higher than that of cis-hetero people, and if such statements are allowed to thrive, the situation is only likely to worsen [3].

The anti-LGBTQI+ Nashville statement has been signed by hundreds of influential extremist-Protestant cismen in the Netherlands, such as Kees van der Staaij, politician from the SGP, ministers and professors from the UvA, VU University and TU Delft. These people are in powerful positions that actually influence human rights and thus a direct threat to the human rights of trans* people and LGBTQI+ communities. This explains the controversy and public outrage about the Nashville statement, and rightly so.

TU Delft protects criminal statements
TU Delft, unlike the VU and UvA, stated that it consciously does not distance itself from the Nashville-statement, and TU Delft is even protecting professor and Nashville-signer Marc de Vries in the name of “freedom of speech” [4].

This clearly shows that TU Delft is not aware of what freedom of speech exactly entails. Both the Dutch constitution and the Dutch criminal law are crystal clear about this. Freedom of speech is indeed an important and well-protected human right, but legally it may not be used for hate speech or to discriminate others. According to our criminal law, Article 137d, hate speech is not allowed. Article 1 of our constitution protects people against exclusion and discrimination. In similar cases as the Nashville statement, the statements were ultimately punishable according to the Dutch Institute for Human Rights (College voor de Rechten van de Mens). Consequently, many people reported the Nashville-statement, as a result of which the Public Prosecution Service will investigate the case. [6]

Marc de Vries’ choice to sign the Nashville-statement clearly has everything to do with his professional position at TU Delft. The lectures of Marc de Vries are paid by the foundation Christian Philosophy that has the direct aim to pass on their philosophy to a larger audience [7]. De Vries teaches Pedagogy and Philosophy of Science, and researches Ethics in the “Values, Technology and Innovation” department [8]. In combination with Marc de Vries’ involvement with the Nashville-statement, this information should be a huge wake up call. Marc de Vries’ position does not only endanger the LGBTQI + community of TU Delft, but also those outside of it,especially in view of TU Delft’s international orientation.

It does not reassure us that TU Delft vice Rector magnificus Rob Mudde, in his intended ‘talks’ with Marc de Vries, continuously refers irrelevantly to “freedom of expression”. It’s proof that Rob Mudde and TU Delft are not aware of how human rights work,or worse, utterly disregard the LGBTQI+ community despite projecting a welcoming image ,thus failing to protect the most vulnerable groups like the trans* and LGBTQI+ community.

Nashville-statement renounced by church communities
Several church communities, pastors and other prominent people stood up in solidarity with the LGBTQI+ community last week. Meetings were organized, including the ‘Celebration of Love’ (‘Viering van de Liefde’) in Amsterdam [9]. With these solidarity actions, the church communities wanted to show that faith does not reject diversity but rather embraces diversity in sexuality and gender identity. All of them have renounced the Nashville-statement because they recognize that the Nashville-statement is harmful to our society as a whole. The rights of the LGBTQI+ community are not separate from the rights of other groups. The political parties that stand behind the Nashville-statement do not only affect the rights of LGBTQI+ people, but also the rights of women and people of color, especially Muslims. For example, the SGP regards women’s suffrage as “contrary to the woman’s calling” [10]. It is therefore extremely bizarre and appalling that TU Delft agrees with the Nashville declaration and Marc de Vries, in the name of “diversity”.

We demand change
Yes, there was a rainbow flag visible on the Dies Natalis, but hanging out rainbow flags is simply an act of empty symbol politics if concrete policy is not forthcoming. It is TU Delft’s responsibility to take action. We demand that TU Delft as an institute, resolutely and publicly renounces the Nashville-statement. In addition, we demand that Marc de Vries should be dismissed if he does not remove his signature from the Nashville-statement within a week. Only in this way the TU Delft can restore its position and do justice to the LGBTQI+ community and basic human rights.

TU Delft Feminists

So Roustayar
Charlotte Ros
Karel de Kleijne
Anand Narayanan

Co-signed in solidarity:

Dr. Eliza Steinbock – faculty Leiden University
Lindsay Weber – Graduate student, University of Minnesota
Arwen Matthijssen – Alumnus TU Delft
Riemke – teacher
Storm Vogel – BIJ1 Amsterdam
Arjun Anantharaman – Student
Dorien Ballout – Alumni university Groningen
Brian Droop – teacher UvA
Silke Bhatia
malte hartmann – interior designer
Cecile Calis – Teacher
Isabel Bond – Student
Maria Gelvez Rueda – PhD candidate at TU Delft
Leonard Dekker – Electrical Engineer
Linda Hammerschlag – Student
Louise Linné – Former TU Delft student
Arthur Schoorlemmer – Student
Maaike Visser – Student
Rachelle Huizinga – Student
Pitt Khotchada – Student Technische Informatica
Michele Portioli – Engineer in a TU Delft associated start up
Tommy Hertog  – Student TU Delft
M. Eijsermans
Sabahat Shaikh – Student at TU Delft
Brigitte O’Regan – Student
Roel Suidgeest – Zwolle
Sigrid
Anand Sudha – Student
Jelmer Teunissen – Student
Maya Goodwill
Giulia Di Pietro – former student, freelance producer
Iris Bos – UvA student
David Snels – academic
Laura Huertas – student TU Delft
Britt van Sloun – Student at VU Amsterdam
Ruud van Sloun
Lilian van Sloun-Dohmen
Bo van Sloun
Lambert Dohmen
Tom Hilsee – TU Delft Student
Antoinette van Sloun-Hermans
Sef van Sloun
Fien Dohmen-Coenen
Akkelies van Nes – Professor
Naomi Hoogeweij
Rogier Meijerink
Geertje – UvA student
Monique de Wilt – Alumni Industrieel ontwerpen
Nilab – Student in Groningen
Tijmen van Ree – Student
Kimberley Nguyen – Student
Sterre Kuipers – Student
Soeria van den Wijngaard – Royal academy of art student in The Hague
Astrid Taal – TU Delft employee
Corinna Grahl – Student

 

Co-sign in solidarity !! I want to co-sign in solidarity

 

[1] Nashville-verklaring
[2] COC – Homoseksualiteit een keuze of geaardheid
[3] 113 – Zelfmoord preventie
[4] Delta – Ook Delftse hoogleraar tekende Nashville-verklaring
[5] College voor de Rechten van de Mens
[6] Volkskrant – OM onderzoekt strafbaarheid Nashville-verklaring
[7] Stichting Christelijke Filosofie – Missie
[8] TU Delft – Prof. Dr. Marc de Vries 
[9] NOS – Honderden nemen op viering van de liefde afstand van Nashville-verklaring
[10] SGP – Program van beginselen [pdf]

 

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