Sint Maarten may also have to deal with Aruban/Curaçao's same-sex marriage verdict

THE HAGUE - If the same-sex marriage verdict stands up to the Supreme Court, then Sint Maarten, following Aruba and Curaçao, will also have to open marriage to people of the same sex. The country has identical legal frameworks. That is the answer of State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen in response to questions from the Dutch House of Representatives.  


In the appeal judgment of December 6, the Common Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry each other in Aruba and Curaçao. Curaçao appealed in cassation, and Aruba is still considering going to the Supreme Court. 

The State Secretary believes that fundamental human rights apply everywhere within the Kingdom, but says that in principle that is up to the autonomous countries themselves.  


She reminds Aruba and Curaçao that it follows from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights that there is a positive obligation on states to legally offer an alternative, such as a form of a registered partnership, if they do not wish to legalize marriage, regardless of the ruling of the Supreme Court. 


“A contractual patchwork, as the European Court calls it, is not equivalent to a legal system. After all, many legal consequences of the marriage cannot be achieved contractually. This obligation also applies to the countries within the Kingdom,” says Van Huffelen 


Aruba has already taken the first step in legally embedding a registered partnership. Although, according to the State Secretary, it should be noted that at the moment it is not yet a fully-fledged replacement for marriage, as the legal consequences are not yet the same. 

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