Opinion: Partnerships

POSTED: 09/28/11 12:05 PM

Oh oh. Vice Prime Minister jokingly said this summer that Justice Minister Roland Duncan would come up with plans for same sex marriages next, after he had vented his opinion about euthanasia, abortion and prostitution.

We’re not there yet, but Duncan’s announcement yesterday that his ministry is studying registered partnerships (in the context of the proposed inheritance law), the issue seemed to be cropping up.

Minister Duncan said that it is not up to the government to interfere in the way people live their lives. While this is not entirely true (there are, for instance, laws that prohibit fathers from having sex with their own daughters – under age or not), we feel that the Minister has a modern and liberal approach towards the way people live their life in general. Hence his support for euthanasia and abortion.

The issue of registered partnerships has on the surface to do with unmarried couples and the consequences of this status for inheriting each other’s property. But Duncan was quick to point out that registered partnerships in the Netherlands do not put restrictions on gender.

In layman’s terms: a registered partnership in Amsterdam could be between a man and a woman, but also between two men, or between two women. From there it is a small step towards same sex marriage.

The ministry is currently studying the possibilities for registered partnerships. It is necessary, because quite some people do live together one way or another, and they are not married. Under the current legislation that has potentially unfair consequences once the Grim Reaper comes knocking.

There are interesting and fundamental discussions ahead, and it will be interesting to see whether our Parliament is ready for the challenge.

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