Antilles appeal against gay rights ruling
The former Dutch colonies say Dutch laws should not be allowed to overrule Antillean civil law.22 July 2008
ANTILLES - The government of the Netherlands Antilles has announced it will appeal against a court ruling obliging a health insurance company to accept a lesbian couple.
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, both former Dutch colonies, have autonomous status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
On Monday, the court in the capital Willemstad ruled that married gay couples in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba have the same rights as in the Netherlands.
Antillean Health Minister Omayra Leeflang said the appeal was a matter of principle. She argued that Dutch ideas about the nature of marriage should not be allowed to simply overrule Antillean civil law, which does not recognise gay marriage.
The minister wanted to know to what extent the countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands were allowed to set their own course.
Leeflang fears that the Antilles may also have to follow Dutch law regarding issues like abortion and euthanasia.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]