Tuesday, 16 June 2015 - 11:43
D66: Allow foreign LGBT to marry in Netherlands
D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is advocating that same-sex marriages in the Netherlands be opened for foreigners. He wants to put the Netherlands back on the international map as a champion for gay rights. The Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, will discuss Sjoerdsma's proposal on Tuesday. The proposal contains plans on how Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs should promote global tolerance for homosexuals, NOS reports. "A simple change in the law would allow same-sex marriages for foreigners in the Netherlands." Sjoerdsma said to the broadcaster. "People who can not marry in their own country, can the get formal recognition of their love." According to the parliamentarian, it is becoming increasingly common that same-sex couples that get married in another country get their partnership legally recognized by their own country. Koenders was initially negative about the proposal, but said on Tuesday that he would explore the possibilities. He does, however, wonder whether this is the most effective way to promote gay emancipation. "Only a very small group can afford to come to the Netherlands and get married here. While we want to make the case for all gay people world wide." Boris Dittrich, director of sexual minorities at Human Rights Watch, told NOS that the Netherlands is lagging behind in the area of gay emancipation. According to him, the Netherlands was a forerunner when it introduced gay marriage, but is now being overtaken on all sides. Same-sex foreign couples can already get married in Canada and Belgium.