Netherlands Vs Former Antilles

CURACAO GOVERNMENT LEANING TOWARDS ACCEPTING SAME SEX MARRIAGE. SOON DUTCH ST MAARTEN WILL HAVE TO DECIDE Dick Drayers

With the elections in sight, Curaçao politics is backing gay marriage

Political parties in Curaçao have spoken out in favor of same-sex marriage, but the question is what remains of that promise after the elections.

Curaçao will go to the polls on March 19. To the surprise of many, five parties said they were in favor of same-sex marriage last week. Four other parties are unwilling to go that far, but will not torpedo registered partnership proposals. Six parties are against any form of gay emancipation in legislation.

The outcome is not the result of a study of party programs; more than half of the fifteen political parties participating in the elections do not have a program and the parties that do have – with a few exceptions – often no further than a wish list.

Four organizations that fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ community have therefore decided to compile and send in a questionnaire specifically asking about same-sex marriage and human rights. According to Mario Kleinmoedig, one of the initiators, the answers should be seen as a voting guide. “In the previous elections in 2017, no party was in favor of same-sex marriage or equal rights for the LGBTQ community.”

Still a second class citizen

“Perhaps the outcome is surprising, but it really is just a small step in the right direction,” says 44-year-old Ashric Martel, while he has a drink in the afternoon sun on the terrace of Madeiro Ocean Club. He is the manager of this beach club on Mambo Beach.

Martel is gay and in 2019 married to Jean Franco Cence from Venezuela. “We got married on Bonaire, because that island is part of the Netherlands and it is allowed there. Thanks to a ruling by the Supreme Court, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten must recognize a marriage certificate from the Netherlands and register us as married in the population register. ”

But the three countries refuse to attach legal consequences to that recognition in the spirit of that judgment. “I still can’t arrange my pension like straight couples can or take out insurance.” Only in the field of immigration is it possible that same-sex partners can stay without any hassle and can work if they are married. “And all other rights are still withheld from us. I’m still a second-class citizen in my own country, and that’s how I feel. ”

Martel is especially disappointed in the so-called political advocates for gay rights in Curaçao, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath of the ruling party PAR in the lead. “Four years ago, I will never forget, the Prime Minister led the way at Gaypride in Willemstad. He wore a T-shirt with the text #Huntu in rainbow colors ( huntu means together, ed.) And gave a moving speech for equal rights. What good is such a prime minister if his own party remains against same-sex marriage? ”

Disappeared in a drawer

Characteristic of the half-hearted attitude of politicians is the bill introduced in 2018 to open marriage to people of the same sex. The initiators come from the ruling party PAR and MAN. Both parties have answered questions from the gay organizations that they only support registered partnerships for the time being. The bill has gone through the advisory bodies, but has since disappeared into the drawers of parliament.

Martel has little hope that the parties will remember their position on same-sex marriage or registered partnership after the elections. “I only trust the parties that really have a vision of human rights. There are at most two. The fight for gay emancipation seems to be mainly inspired by individual members of parliament in a personal capacity, without support from their party. I don’t know if I will experience any change in my life. ”

Kleinmoedig does not want to be that pessimistic. “There is a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights that already ordered Curaçao to regulate equal rights by law in 2015. We are now on the political path, but will eventually go to Strasbourg to enforce it legally. ”
https://www.trouw.nl/binnenland/met-de-verkiezingen-in-zicht-schaart-politiek-curacao-zich-achter-het-homohuwelijk~bad54fcf/

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