Organizations demand equal marriage rights

POSTED: 07/21/15 7:24 PM


Lysanne CharlesSafe president Lysanne Charles-Arrindell. File photo  contributed

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Alliance for Equality (Safe) calls for full marriage rights to same sex couple in the Caribbean countries in the kingdom of the Netherlands. In a joint statement with the sister organizations in Aruba and Curacao, Safe president Lysanne Charles-Arrindell says that “the only acceptable result of the struggles for the right of committed sexually diverse couples is the granting of full marriage rights.”

The LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersexual) organizations Safe, Alfa (Alternative Lifestyle Foundation Aruba) and Foko (Curacao Pride Foundation) make their call ahead of the /Amsterdam Gay pride parade that will take place this upcoming weekend. The three organizations will take part in this parade on the Kingdom boat that will float in the parade through the canals of the Dutch capital.

The organizations state that their struggle for equal rights is “an extension of the struggle against slavery and forced labor, the struggle for equal rights for women and the struggle for autonomy of the 20th century movements of the people against racism and colonialism.”

The organizations dismiss the notion that the Netherlands is imposing marriage equality on the islands, and state instead that their declaration is in line with their own deepest wishes.

The fulfillment of these equal rights cannot be postponed “due to the belief that society is not ready,” the statement reads with a reference to civil rights movements led by fighters like Tula, Betico Croes, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.

The organizations wish to leave personal emotions and theologies out of the discussion and say that the religious institute of marriage and civil marriage should be kept separated.

“We demand access to the package of legal protections, rights and benefits included in civil marriage to be inclusive of all citizens,” the organizations state. They call on parliamentarians, political parties, lawyers and community leaders in St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao to accept that LHBTI-rights are civil rights and as such human rights that cannot be limited by religious or personal beliefs.

For the full text of the statement, see our opinion page.

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