Gay rights activists in the Netherlands staged a protest yesterday over a Catholic church’s policy of denying gay people communion.

Several hundred people went to Mass at a church in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and left shouting and singing when it was announced that the priest, who had been warned about the demonstration, had decided not to give communion.

Some protestors, wearing pink robes and wigs, handed out pink wafers and kissed.

The issue began several weeks ago when a nearby church barred an openly gay man from taking communion. The unnamed man had won a competition to be carnival prince in a nearby town.

According to the BBC, he said that he would accept being denied from taking communion if all other sinners were also barred.

The Netherlands legalised civil partnerships for both straight and gay couples in 1998. In 2001, it became the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage.

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