Published On: Sat, Nov 11th, 2023

Same sex marriage debate continues at the Supreme Court

WILLEMSTAD — The debate about the right to same sex marriage in Curacao and Aruba is in full swing, after the Common Court of Justice ruled that banning such marriages violates the constitutional right to equal treatment. Curacao and Aruba contested this ruling at the Supreme Court in The Hague.

Curacao’s attorney Chester Peterson labeled the contested court ruling as colonial. “Same sex marriage is something from the liberal western world and the predominantly Catholic population of Curacao is not ready for it,” he said. Peterson noted that Curacao does not stand alone: “On some islands homosexuality is even punishable.”

The attorney suggested that legalizing same sex marriage opens the door for pedophiles, trio’s and for those who do not feel like being a man or a woman to get married. Peterson said that the ruling of the Common Court is “reckless and thoughtless.”

Attorney Jeroen van Weerden told the Supreme Court on behalf of the government of Curacao that the Common Court did not hear testimony from opponents to same sex marriage and that it did not balance the interest of proponents and opponents. Aruba’s attorney Jan Paul Heering focused on legal objections against the ruling. Both attorneys claim that the judges of the Common Court had unjustly taken on the role of legislator.

Three attorneys for Human Rights Caribbean Foundation and Orguyo Aruba maintained that the governments of Curacao and Aruba practice systemic discrimination that makes same sex couples second class citizens who do not have the same rights as married heterosexual couples.

Parties now have the opportunity to react to each other’s arguments in writing. Attorney-General Snijders expects to publish his conclusions on January 19, 2024. The definitive ruling will follow a couple of months later.