Aruban lesbian to seek refugee status

13th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 June 2005, AMSTERDAM — A lesbian from Aruba is to apply for refugee status because although she can not provide for herself and her family in the Netherlands, she claims it would be unsafe to return to her Caribbean home.

13 June 2005

AMSTERDAM — A lesbian from Aruba is to apply for refugee status because although she can not provide for herself and her family in the Netherlands, she claims it would be unsafe to return to her Caribbean home.

The unnamed woman intends to report to the Aliens Police, or Vreemdelingenpolitie, in the Dutch city of Breda on Tuesday and ask to be registered as a political refugee, the Dutch gay and lesbian organisation HLBF said on Monday.

The plan was a "real cry of distress", according to HLBF chairperson Andre van Wanrooij. "She won't get refugee status because she has a Netherlands passport," he said.

Aruba and the five islands of the Netherlands Antilles are semi-autonomous parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The woman married her partner in the Netherlands before returning to Aruba.

The island's registrar of births, deaths and marriage refused to recognise their marriage. The women went to court and won their case, but the Aruban minister of justice appealed, arguing that a lesbian marriage, though permitted in the Netherlands, was not legally binding on Aruba.

But Article 40 of the statute on which the Kingdom of the Netherlands is based states that authentic contracts, such as marriage contracts, must be recognised in all three countries of the Kingdom. 

The HLBF says that the legal conflict with the Aruban authorities was one of the factors leading to the woman's financially distressed position now. She is also under great psychological pressure caused by "fear for reprisals" from both the public on Aruba and the government.

Van Wanrooij claimed the Aruban Justice minister has helped to finance anti-gay protests on the island.

Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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