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This article discusses the responses to a number of recent court cases concerning the equal treatment of women and homosexuals amongst Dutch orthodox reformed in the semi-public sphere (e.g. political parties, schools). In doing so, this article applies and refines legal anthropological theories on the realization of rights in a context of cultural and religious diversity. It also specifically addresses the responses to court cases launched “from the outside” in the context of a western country with a tradition of code law. These cases have an adverse effect on discussions of equal treatment within the communities concerned.