Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean

The Netherlands Antilles is a Dutch territory and is part of the Lesser Antilles consisting of two groups of islands in the Caribbean Sea: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao (called ABC islands); and Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten. The islands form an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As part of the Dutch commonwealth these island are technically subject to the laws of the Netherlands which is known for its liberal policies on personal matters such as sexual orientation. (Read more.) However, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles reject the Netherlands' liberal legislation and have not legalized same-sex marriages.

However, the Dutch Supreme Court in 2007 declared that all marriages contracted in the different parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands should be accepted in the other parts of the Kingdom as well, forcing the islands to recognize same-sex marriages concluded in the Netherlands. This does not mean however that Aruba or the Netherlands Antilles are bound to introduce laws legalizing same-sex marriages to be concluded within their countries, since the constituent countries of the Kingdom have separate private laws (see Same-sex marriage in Aruba). While homosexual relations between consenting adults in private are legal, many (Roman Catholic) Antillians and Arubans do not support LGBT rights. 



Compulsory education on homosexuality on islands

Thr Hague – Schools in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will have to facilitate sexual diversity classes in the near future to create a greater acceptance of homosexuality. Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Marja van Bijsterveldt-Vliegenthart recently sent a General Measure of Government (Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur) to the Council of State for… Read more »

Today’s Opinion: “Gay marketing”

St. Maarten hangs on to the idea that its economy will grow by 1.3 percent this year, while a solid projection by the respected Central Bank does not get past 0.3 percent. That explains the hole in the budget. Yesterday the parliamentary committee for tourism gave an audience to the United Ministerial Foundation. The church… Read more »

Gay Netherlands Antilles News & Reports

1 Religious groups call rally to oppose same-sex marriage 6/04 2 In St. Maarten Two Men Attacked Because They’re Gay 4/06 3 Caribbean can be chilly when it comes to welcoming gays 11/07 4 Gay Marriage Coming To The Netherlands Antilles 9/10 5 The Netherlands: Transgender Law Violates Rights 9/11 June 3, 2004 –… Read more »