Marriage equality to be recognized in Dutch Caribbean islands

Timothy Kincaid

December 29th, 2009

sabaThe Kingdom of the Netherlands includes six islands in the Caribbean Sea. Three, Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten, are in the Northern Caribbean near the Virgin Islands, and three, Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, are in the South, off the Venezuela coast.

Currently, the Dutch are in the process of restructuring the borders and autonomy of the various entities. And part of that process is determining the extent to which Dutch Law will apply to local administration.

The Netherlands is one of the seven nations in which (along with a few states and localities) same-sex marriage is recognized. And when it comes to same-sex couple recognition, it appears that the Kingdom will insist that there be no discrimination. (the St. Maarten Daily Herald)

Married and registered gay couples will obtain legal protection against discrimination by government agencies in the BES islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba after the islands have obtained their new status as public entities in the Dutch Kingdom.

it is the intention of the Dutch government to incorporate a new article in the BES Implementation Law stating that weddings and registered partnerships executed in the Netherlands confer the same legal rights as weddings executed in the public entities.

As Antillean law is replaced with Dutch law, the conducting of marriages on the BES islands will become legal.

It is not immediately clear how this will impact Aruba, Curaçao, or Sint Maarten, but we know that Curaçao has taken steps to attract gay tourists.

A gay bashing event on St. Maarten brought into question the commitment of local authorities to provide safety for gay tourists there. But after an initial response that appeared apathetic, authorities decided that it was in their interest to improve relations.

Attitudes throughout the Caribbean may not be as affirmative as could be wished, but those planning on vacations in the sun may consider those Caribbean islands that are under Dutch influence to be better choices.


December 30th, 2009

As is stands now there are three “countries” within the Kingdom – The Netherlands, Aruba, and the Netherlands Antilles and from what I gather, Aruba’s status is supposed to remain unchanged so the Arubans will decide on their own whether they want to recognize the marriages between Arubans or not. Parts of the Netherlands, I believe, will be annexed by the Netherlands and parts will be given a status not unlike that now provided by Aruba.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if equality will be mandated within the annexed parts but we shouldn’t get our hopes up for those portions of the Kingdom that are not.

Of course this is all subject to changes made at the negotiating table.


January 2nd, 2010

My partner and I really like Aruba and had some years ago looked into getting married there, but to no avail. With any luck this will change and hopefully it will be marriages they offer and not the second class partnerships or unions.


August 13th, 2015

Ha 2015 and still no Gay marriages lol.

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