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LGBT rights in Curaçao

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Curacao in its region.svg
Discrimination protectionsDiscrimination based on "heterosexual or homosexual orientation" prohibited
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsSame-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Curaçao may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Curaçao, but same-sex marriage is not legal. Same-sex couples with Dutch nationality[nb 1] must travel to the Netherlands to get married and legal protection of marriage is not unconditional. Discrimination on the basis of "heterosexual or homosexual orientation" is outlawed by the Curaçao Criminal Code.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity

Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Curaçao.[1] The age of consent is 16 and is equal for both heterosexual and homosexual intercourse.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao must recognize same-sex marriages registered in the Netherlands as well as in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (also known as the Caribbean Netherlands) as valid. Despite this, same-sex couples cannot legally marry on the island itself nor are civil unions or other forms of recognition available.

In April 2015, representatives of all four constituent countries agreed that same-sex couples should have equal rights throughout the Kingdom.[2]

In August 2015, in the case of Oliari and Others v Italy, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that it is discriminatory to provide no legal recognition to same-sex couples. The ECHR has jurisprudence over Curaçao.[3]

In 2017, a proposal to grant same-sex couples some limited rights was introduced to the Estates of Curaçao.[4]

In September 2018, during the sixth edition of Curaçao Gay Pride, the local LGBT rights organizations FOKO Curaçao, Equality Curaçao and Curaçao Gay Pro handed over a bill to Vice President of Parliament Giselle McWilliam that would allow same-sex couples to marry in Curaçao.[5][6][7] McWilliam applauded the action saying, "I think it's great. It shows that democracy is alive on Curaçao. That initiatives can come not only from the parliament or the government, but also from the people themselves. Everyone has the right to submit a bill, I am going to do everything to help this group, because they are also part of it."[8] According to Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, who attended the parade, it is now time to debate the issue. He said, "Exclusion and discrimination against the LGBT community affects human rights."[9] On 4 June 2019, the bill was submitted to the Estates of Curaçao.[10][11]

Discrimination protections

The Curaçao Criminal Code (Dutch: Wetboek van Strafrecht; Papiamento: Kódigo Penal), enacted in 2011, prohibits unfair discrimination and incitement to hatred and violence on various grounds, including "heterosexual or homosexual orientation".[12] Article 1:221 describes discrimination as "any form of discrimination, exclusion, restriction or preference, which has the purpose or effect of impacting or affecting recognition, enjoyment or the exercise of human rights and fundamental liberties in political, economic, social or cultural fields or in other areas of social life." Articles 2:61 and 2:62 provide for penalties ranging from fines to one year imprisonment.

Living conditions

Curaçao has a large tourism industry. Several venues, hotels and restaurants openly cater to LGBT tourists.[13][14] The island is frequently referred to as one of the Caribbean's most LGBT-friendly areas, and has the highest membership rate of businesses in the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association in the Caribbean.[15] Curaçao possesses quite a large gay scene, with the first pride parade having occurred in 2012.[13] There are several LGBT associations on the island, including Equality Curaçao (Igualdat Kòrsou), FOKO Curaçao (Fundashon Orguyo Kòrsou) and Curaçao Gay Pro.

Despite this, local LGBT people have reported that discrimination and family rejections still exist.[13] The Roman Catholic Church has a strong influence on the island, and has often opposed proposals and discussions aimed at improving LGBT rights.[16]

In September 2017, in a speech called "historical" by LGBT activists, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath called for more acceptance at the Gay Pride parade in Willemstad.[17][18]

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal
Equal age of consent
Anti-discrimination laws in employment
(Since 2011)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services
(Since 2011)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas
(Since 2011)
Same-sex marriages
(Marriages performed within the Kingdom recognized; legalisation proposed)[19]
Recognition of same-sex couples
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples
Joint adoption by same-sex couples
LGBT people allowed to serve in the military
(The Netherlands responsible for defence)
Right to change legal gender
Access to IVF for lesbians
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples
(Banned regardless of sexual orientation)
MSMs allowed to donate blood

See also


  1. ^ Citizens of Curaçao have Dutch nationality by jus sanguinis.


  1. ^ State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same-sex activity between consenting adults Archived 17 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Snel homorechten in alle delen van het Koninkrijk". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Olairi v. Italy: The First Step to Equal Marriage in Europe?". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Schotte wants referendum on same sex marriage - Curaçao Chronicle". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  5. ^ "LHBT's Curaçao willen homohuwelijk". 28 September 2018.
  6. ^ van Beek, Roelie (30 September 2018). "Er is verbetering in homo-acceptatie op Curaçao". Caribisch Network.
  7. ^ "Press Release: 'LGBTQ + Community Wants Equality Marriage'". Curaçao Chronicle. 28 September 2018.
  8. ^ van Beek, Roelie (27 September 2018). "Wetsvoorstel homohuwelijk trapt Curaçao Gay Pride af". Caribisch Network.
  9. ^ Drayer, Dick (29 September 2018). "Gay Pride Curaçao eist homohuwelijk". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting.
  10. ^ "Gay marriage bill submitted". Curacao Chronicle. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Wetsvoorstel homohuwelijk naar Staten". Antilliaans Dagblad (in Dutch). 4 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  12. ^ "LANDSVERORDENING van de 2de november 2011 houdende vaststelling van een nieuw Wetboek van Strafrecht" (PDF). (in Dutch).
  13. ^ a b c Richard Ammon (September 2012). "Gay Life in Netherlands Antilles (Curacao)". Globalgayz.
  14. ^ "5 Reasons Why Curacao Needs to Be on Your LGBT Travel Radar". HuffPost. 9 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Why LGBT is Hot on Curacao". Avila Beach Hotel.
  16. ^ "Moses MP: "Gay Parade is not part of our culture and it brings division in our community" - Curaçao Chronicle". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  17. ^ "'Historical' Speech Prime Minister Curaçao During Gay Pride". Curaçao Chronicle. 29 September 2017. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017.
  18. ^ "'Historische' toespraak premier Curaçao op Gay Pride" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 29 September 2017. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017.
  19. ^ Raad, Hoge (13 April 2007). "ECLI:NL:HR:2007:AZ6095, voorheen LJN AZ6095, Hoge Raad, R05/139HR".
This page was last edited on 22 September 2020, at 06:50
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