Gay Marriage Coming To The Netherlands Antilles

Three former Dutch colonies are preparing to introduce gay marriage and adoption laws as they come under direct Dutch rule, Radio Netherlands reported.

The Netherlands Antilles, which consists of five small islands in the Caribbean Sea, are scheduled to be dissolved on October 10 and three of the islands are set to become special municipalities of the Netherlands.

The islands of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatitus are expected to adopt Dutch law. The two largest islands, Curacao and Sint Maarten, are set to become independent states within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The islands of Curacao and Bonaire are located off the Venezuelan coast, while Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten are located southeast of the Virgin Islands. In 1986, the island of Aruba seceded to become an autonomous part of the Netherlands.

Last week, the lower house of the Dutch Parliament approved a bill to legalize gay marriage and adoption for gay and lesbian couples by 2012 in the three socially conservative islands coming under Dutch control. The Senate is expected to act on the bill soon.

The Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2000.

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