Published On: Fri, Sep 28th, 2018

Press release: ‘LGBTQ + Community wants equality marriage’

Gay PrideWILLEMSTAD - During the opening of the Curaçao Pride 2018 on the Wilhelminaplein, the FOKO, Curacao Gay Pro and Igualdat Kòrsou organizations have handed over a draft National Ordinance on the Equality of Marriage to the Member of Parliament for MAN Giselle McWilliam. This has been done on behalf of the entire LGBTQ + community and everyone who stands for equal treatment.

At the moment, a large group of our population is excluded from the right to marry. This means that some couples who love each other do not see their love recognized by the law, while the same love that other couples have for each other can be crowned with a marriage. The distinction that the law makes gives the impression that relationships between couples of the same sex have less value than those of heterosexuals. There is no justification for this discriminatory treatment. Persons who have equal obligations such as paying taxes and contributions to social insurance contributions should also be able to count on the same rights. People of the LGBTQ + community also deserve that their human dignity is fully recognized by law. Their relationships also deserve the confirmation and protection that the law offers to its citizens through marriage.

The bill aims to eliminate the discriminatory treatment because of the prohibition to marry. When the bill proposal is adopted by parliament, two adults, regardless of their gender, will be able to marry each other if they want to.

The marriage described in the law remains a civil marriage. Nothing changes. It also applies that a couple must first marry before the law, before they can enter into a religious marriage (such as marrying in the church). The marriage that will be equal to same-sex couples does not mean that they have the right to marry 'in the church'. That had never been the case for hetero couples. A religious marriage remains fully a privilege of the religious institutions concerned, in which they decide for themselves how they interpret this.

The organizations realize that there is a part of the population that is not open to marriage. This often on the basis of discriminatory and homophobic views that are the result of centuries-long instigation and indoctrination against the LGBTQ + community. We now know that people from the LGBTQ + community are, just like heterosexuals, people with their own virtues and flaws. Just as skin color and ethnicity cannot be chosen, nor the sexual orientation of people. We now know that people cannot be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

Although we do everything to increase acceptance and tolerance, we cannot wait until everyone is convinced. This concerns recognition of the same dignity of persons, where every day that this remains uncorrected does injustice to the community. Even with the abolition of slavery and segregation or the granting of voting rights to colored people and women, large parts of the population did not agree. However, we should be glad that people did not wait then to put an end to these unworthy situations. If no leadership to correct these injustices had been shown at the time, it could have been a different society today. The moment to unconditionally recognize human dignity is therefore: NOW!

Martin Luther King Jr. said that when the architects of their republic had written the beautiful words of the constitution and the declaration of independence, they signed a debt note that would make every American heir. This debt letter was a promise that all people would have the inalienable rights to life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. This also applies to the Constitution of Curaçao that guarantees equal treatment. In the same words of Martin Luther King Jr., the community met in the capital of Curaçao to cash in our check on equal rights.

Photo credit: Kees Broere

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