Dutch Caribbean Island Saba Legalizes Marriage Equality


Though The Netherlands approved marriage equality in 2001, they gave their various island municipalities more time to overcome local opposition. One of those islands, Saba, managed to do just that: officials held their first same-sex marriage there earlier this month, and it seems more are on the way.

From the Washington Post:

A speck of an island in the Dutch Caribbean has become increasingly popular with gay couples after legislators legalized same-sex marriages in a region still openly hostile to gays and lesbians.

Two men were recently married in Saba, marking the first ceremony of its kind in the region and setting off a frenzy of calls from gay couples in other Dutch Caribbean islands seeking to marry, said Julietta Woods with Saba’s Civil Registry office.”People keep calling me every second,” she said by telephone this week.

While Saba currently stands alone in approving same-sex marriages, Bonaire and St. Eustatius are expected to follow.

The other Dutch Caribbean islands of St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba have to recognize same-sex marriages but don’t have to legalize them because they have a more autonomous relationship with the Netherlands.

The paper reports France’s Caribbean holdings Martinique and Guadeloupe are going to debate the matter as French authorities lay the groundwork for equality there.


  1. says

    Saba has long been a hidden jewel of gay friendliness in the Caribbean. It is hard to reach, but you won’t find a more beautiful spot and the locals are the nicest people you would ever want to meet. There is also some amazing diving. Just be warned landing there, on a cliff, is enough to rattle the stomach if even the most hardened traveler.

  2. JeffNYC says

    How wonderful! We’ve had two scuba trips there. The people are wonderful and it’s so small that everyone knows each other and there is only one road going around the circumference of the island.

    For many years, there was an openly gay man who was the minister of culture who referred to himself, with grand, old-fashioned campy humor, as “The Queen of Saba.”

    I think we should all plan trips there, honeymoons or not.

  3. Icebloo says

    How embarrassing for the US ! We claim to be world leaders yet even small islands such as this are light years ahead of us in terms of human rights !

    The US system is broken. The whole US system was designed to PREVENT any kind of change. We sit back and let corrupt politicians from both major parties play games with our legal rights and use our own taxpayer dollars against us.


  4. Luke says

    It’s not true that the island of Saba has legalized marriage equality. It’s the parliament of The Netherlands in The Hague that has legalized same-sex marriage in Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire, i.e. the non-European part of The Netherlands.

    Back in 2001 when The Netherlands became the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire were not yet part of The Netherlands – they only became so on October 10, 2010. The parliament of The Netherlands extended same-sex marriage to the new part of The Netherlands effective October 10, 2012.

    The Kingdom of The Netherlands consists of four parts: The Netherlands, St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba. Same-sex marriage is now legal in both the European part of The Netherlands and the new Caribbean part of The Netherlands, but not in St. Maarten, Curacao or Aruba.