PM Wescot-Williams: “Time approaches for debate about same sex marriage”

POSTED: 10/24/13 5:47 PM

St. Maarten – “The time is approaching that we will have to have that debate,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said in answer to a question from this newspaper about the government’s position on same sex marriage.

Two weeks ago, the first same sex marriage was conducted in Marigot on the French side of the island. Marriage is open for all partners in France but also in the Netherlands, and by extension in the Dutch public entities Saba, Statia and Bonaire. St. Maarten is obliged to register same sex couples holding a marriage certificate they obtained elsewhere in the Kingdom and to grant them all the benefits that befall heterosexual married couples.

Country St. Maarten remains however master of its civil code – and that still defines marriage as a bond between a man and a woman.

“I do not want to run ahead of the discussion,” Wescot-Williams said yesterday. Asked about her opinion however, she added: “I believe in equal treatment of people, for sure, People make individual choices and it is not up to me to judge those choices. I also believe in democratic fundamentals. Decisions are made based on the majority, respecting the opinion of the minority. I do not believe that a minority should force us to change our laws. I believe in democratic principles so at the end of the day, when everything is said and done, it is about what the majority thinks and you have to respect that as well.”





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