Dutch island fights marriage ruling
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
08.11.2008 5:11pm EDT
(Amsterdam, Netherlands) The government of the Antilles is appealing a court ruling that it must recognize same-sex marriage.
"The appeal is unlikely to succeed."
The Antilles was once a Dutch colony, but is now an autonomous republic within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Dutch law requires the kingdoms three parts - the Netherlands, Aruba and the Dutch Antilles - to recognize each others legal documents, including marriage certificates.
But the Antilles government contends the law also grants the island self-rule - and thus it should be permitted to ignore same-sex marriages from the Netherlands, which legalized such unions in 2001.
Last month, a court in the Antilles capital of Willenstad upheld the requirement that the government must recognized marriages performed in the Netherlands.
The Antilles government said the appeal was a matter of principle to determine just how far home-rule extends. Health Minister Omayra Leeflang said she fears the government couple also be forced to accept Dutch law regarding issues such as abortion and euthanasia.
The case that brought the issue to a head in the Antilles involved a woman who had been turned down by an insurance company when she tried to include her wife and one of her children in her health insurance policy.
The court ruled against the insurance company and ordered to insure the womans family, citing Netherlands law.
The Antilles governments appeal to The Hague is unlikely to succeed, legal observers say, pointing to the failure of a similar case in 2005 that had been brought by the government of Aruba.