Marriage update – Central America and the Caribbean

Timothy Kincaid

January 25th, 2013

It’s getting marriagey all over the place. And it’s also getting hard to keep track of what is going on where. So here is an update to help (which will probably be outdated by the time I hit “publish”).

Central America:

Costa Rica – Gay Rights advocates met last month with the administration to discuss a proposal to provide specific couple benefits. It may be early yet to know how far or how quickly this could go, but it was a positive step. There is a strong opposition coming from (can you imagine?) the Catholic Church.

Other than Costa Rica, the outlook on same-sex couple rights in Central American looks dim.

Caribbean Islands:

In many of the Caribbean Islands, LGBT people live in a state of oppression, often subjected to social ostracization and occasional violence. There are a few bright spots.

Since 2009, the Dutch islands of Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten, Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire have recognized same-sex marriages conducted in the Netherlands. But last month the tiny island of Saba finalized changes to their laws to become the first Caribbean Island to offer marriages. The other five are expected to follow.

Rene van Soeren

January 26th, 2013

The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four more or less independant parts: the Netherlands and the Caribbean Islands Aruba, Cura̤ao, St. Maarten. The Caribbean Islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (also called BES Islands) are since October 2010 an integral part of the Netherlands Рthey have the status of a muncipality. Not all Dutch laws apply to the BES Islands, but forn the 1st of October 2012 Dutch marriage law (including the possibility for samen sex couples to marry) are in force on the BES Islands. The other three Caribbean Islands (Aruba, Cura̤ao, St. Maarten) do not allow same sex couples to marry, but are legally obliged to recognize Dutch (and BES Islands) same sex marriages.

Timothy Kincaid

January 26th, 2013

Thank you, Rene


January 27th, 2013

Puerto Rico falls under “often subjected to social ostracization..” Not sure about the violence though, its been a while since i’ve come across any. The last one i think was about a transexual about 2 years ago.

Also, marriage-civil union bans havent had any glory here even as late as 1999, although neither have anti-discrimination laws, and sodomy’s illegality was recently reaffirmed in 2002 only to be abolished by 2005(although 2003’s US superme court ruling made the 2002’s ruling unenforcable).

Rene van Soeren

January 29th, 2013

Aren’t you forgetting MEXICO?

Timothy Kincaid

January 29th, 2013


Mexico is in North America

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