LGBT rights in Aruba

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LGBT rights in Aruba
Same-sex sexual intercourse legal statusLegal
Military serviceYes
Family rights
Recognition of
Registered partnerships since 2016
Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Aruba may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Aruba, but same-sex couples with Dutch nationality[nb 1] must travel to the Netherlands or its special municipalities to get married and the legal protection of marriage is not unconditional. Since October 2016, registered partnerships have been available to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Aruba.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba is obliged to recognize same-sex marriages registered in the Netherlands as valid. The Aruban Government initially did not recognize these marriages, but was challenged by a lesbian couple who had legally married in the Netherlands and then moved to the island. The case went to the Dutch Supreme Court, which ruled on 13 April 2007 that the Kingdom's constituent countries must recognize all of each other's marriages.[2][3]

In April 2015, representatives of all four constituent countries agreed that same-sex couples should have equal rights throughout the Kingdom.[4] The same month a registered partnership bill was submitted to Parliament.[5]

On 22 August 2016, Desirée de Sousa-Croes, an openly gay MP, who married her same-sex partner in the Netherlands, introduced a bill to legalize registered partnerships. However, a vote on the bill was postponed to 8 September 2016 because some MPs still needed time to make up their minds.[6] On 8 September 2016, the Aruban Parliament voted 11-5 to legalize registered partnerships.[7] The law went into effect on 10 October 2016. Registered partnerships are open to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes
Equal age of consent Yes
Anti-discrimination laws in employment No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas No
Same-sex marriages No/Yes (Recognized when performed in the Netherlands)[3]
Same-sex civil unions Yes (Since 2016)[7]
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve in the military Yes (The Netherlands responsible for defence)
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned for heterosexual couples as well)
MSMs allowed to donate blood Emblem-question.svg


  1. ^ Citizens of Aruba have Dutch nationality by jus sanguinis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Archived 17 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Caribbean island Aruba has to recognize gay marriage: Dutch supreme court". Yahoo! News. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b Aruba vote on civil partnerships could finally extend LGBT rights to all Dutch citizens
  4. ^ (in Dutch) ‘Snel homorechten in alle delen van het Koninkrijk’
  5. ^ (in Dutch) Wetsvoorstel geregistreerd partnerschap op Aruba ook voor gelijke seksen
  6. ^ "This island in the Caribbean is about to make history. But they need your help". All Out. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  7. ^ a b "Aruba Parliament approves civil unions for same-sex couples". Yahoo News. AP. 9 September 2016. Archived from the original on 9 September 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2016.