LGBT rights in Curaçao

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Curacao in its region.svg
Gender identityNo
Discrimination protectionsNo
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsSame-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Curaçao, which is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Curaçao, but same-sex couples with Dutch nationality[nb 1] must travel to the Netherlands to get married and legal protection of marriage is not unconditional.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Curaçao.[1] The age of consent is 16 and is equal for both heterosexual and homosexual intercourse.

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao must recognize same-sex marriages registered in the Netherlands as well as in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (also known as the Caribbean Netherlands) as valid.

In April 2015, representatives of all four constituent countries agreed that same-sex couples should have equal rights throughout the Kingdom.[2]

In August 2015, in the case of Oliari and Others v Italy, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that it is discriminatory to provide no legal recognition to same-sex couples. The ECHR has jurisprudence over Curaçao.[3]

As of 2017, a proposal to grant same-sex couples some limited rights is pending in the Estates of Curaçao.[4]

In September 2018, during the sixth edition of Curaçao Gay Pride, local LGBT rights organizations FOKO Curaçao, Igualdat Kòrsou and Curaçao Gay Pro handed over a bill to Vice President of Parliament Giselle McWilliam that would allow same-sex couples to marry in Curaçao.[5][6][7] McWilliam applauded the action saying: "I think it's great. It shows that democracy is alive on Curaçao. That initiatives can come not only from the parliament or the government, but also from the people themselves. Everyone has the right to submit a bill, I am going to do everything to help this group, because they are also part of it."[8] According to Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, who attended the parade, it is now time to enter the debate. He said: "Exclusion and discrimination against the LGBT community affects human rights."[9] On 4 June 2019, the bill was submitted to the Estates of Curaçao.[10][11]

Living conditions[edit]

The Roman Catholic Church has a strong influence on the island, and has often opposed proposals and discussions aimed at improving LGBT rights.[12]

In September 2017, in a speech called "historical" by LGBT activists, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath called for more acceptance at the Gay Pride parade in Willemstad.[13][14]

Curaçao has a large tourism industry. Several venues openly cater to LGBT tourists.[15]

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 (Marriages performed within the Kingdom recognized; legalisation proposed)[16]
Recognition of same-sex couples No (Proposed)
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve in the military Yes (Netherlands responsible for defence)
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No (Banned regardless of sexual orientation)
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


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


  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. ^ "'Snel homorechten in alle delen van het Koninkrijk'". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Olairi v. Italy: The First Step to Equal Marriage in Europe?". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Schotte wants referendum on same sex marriage - Curaçao Chronicle". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  5. ^ "LHBT's Curaçao willen homohuwelijk". 28 September 2019.
  6. ^ van Beek, Roelie (30 September 2018). "'Er is verbetering in homo-acceptatie op Curaçao'". Caribisch Network.
  7. ^ "Press Release: 'LGBTQ + Community Wants Equality Marriage'". Curaçao Chronicle. 28 September 2018.
  8. ^ van Beek, Roelie (27 September 2019). "Wetsvoorstel homohuwelijk trapt Curaçao Gay Pride af". Caribisch Network.
  9. ^ Drayer, Dick (29 September 2018). "Gay Pride Curaçao eist homohuwelijk". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting.
  10. ^ "Gay marriage bill submitted". Curacao Chronicle. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Wetsvoorstel homohuwelijk naar Staten". Antilliaans Dagblad (in Dutch). 4 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Moses MP: "Gay Parade is not part of our culture and it brings division in our community" - Curaçao Chronicle". Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  13. ^ "'Historical' Speech Prime Minister Curaçao During Gay Pride". Curaçao Chronicle. 29 September 2017. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017.
  14. ^ "'Historische' toespraak premier Curaçao op Gay Pride" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 29 September 2017. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017.
  15. ^ Gay Life in Netherlands Antilles (Curacao)
  16. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) ECLI:NL:HR:2007:AZ6095