Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, & Saba LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is equal in the three Netherlands associates: Aruba (2003), Curaçao (2000) and St Maarten (2000), and also in the three Netherlands territories of Bonaire(2000), Saba (2000) and St Eustatius (2000) where it is lawful at age sixteen (16) years [R1.2].

The Criminal Code of the Netherlands Antilles (which didn’t change after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles), Article 251 reads:

Art 251: “A person who, out of wedlock, with a person who has reached the age of twelve but has not reached fifteen, performs indecent acts comprising or including sexual penetration of the body is liable to a term of imprisonment of not more than sixteen years” [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-sponsored Homophobia 589.01kb, PDF fn 37, 16 MAY 12
R1.1 Wikipedia: Ages of consent in South America (Accessed 09 DEC 12)
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1. National

In 1997, the Netherlands under the Labour Government of Wim Kok, passed a law allowing same-sex couples to enter into legally recognised registered partnerships [R1.1].

Dutch statutes require that all members of the Kingdom – Aruba, Holland and the Dutch Antilles – recognize each other’s legal documents, including marriage certificates [R1.2].

R1.1 BNews: Dutch Provide Model for Same-Sex Marriage 12 APR 01
R1.2 Associated Press: Aruba Must Register Lesbian Marriage 25 AUG 05
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In December 2009, State Secretary for Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ank Bijleveld-Schouten said in a letter that married and registered gay couples will obtain legal protection against discrimination by government agencies in the BES islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba after the islands have obtained their new status as public entities in the Dutch Kingdom [R1.1].

R1.1 The Daily Herald: Gay couples have equal rights on BES islands 29 DEC 09
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 1986, consensual sex between same-sex couples was decriminalised in the Netherlands Antilles [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: LGBT world legal wrap up survey PDF 109.64kb, 22 NOV 06
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 04 December 2012, Cedeno Xiomar Gonzalez, 26, and Israel Ernesto Ruiz Pinto, 27, residents of Aruba, become the first to have a same-sex marriage in the Dutch Caribbean. Same-sex unions officially became legal in Saba in October 2012 after it was passed by the Dutch House of Representatives [R1.2].

From 01 April 2001, Dutch same-sex couples travelling abroad were accepted as married in Dutch territories such as the Netherlands Antilles [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

In April 2007, the Netherlands Supreme Court ordered the Aruba government to recognise same-sex marriages registered in Holland, ruling that Dutch marriages carry the “same force of law” in Aruba [R2.1]. It is submitted that the ruling extends to all Dutch territories.

R1.2 GayStarNews: First gay marriage ceremony held in Dutch Caribbean 08 DEC 12
R1.1 BnewS: Dutch Provide Model for Same-Sex Marriage 12 APR 01
R2.1 MCV: Colonial Gay Marriage 19 APR 07