A speck of an island in the Dutch Caribbean has become increasingly popular with gay couples after legislators legalized same-sex marriages in a region still openly hostile to gays and lesbians.
As part of the Netherlands Kingdom, the islands of Saba, Bonaire and St. Eustatius have to recognize same-sex marriages. While Bonaire and St. Eustatius have balked at the idea of legalizing such unions, the idea has been embraced in Saba, long considered a gay-friendly destination. While Saba currently stands alone in approving same-sex marriages, Bonaire and St. Eustatius are expected to follow.
The Netherlands, which in 2001 became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriages, is giving those islands more time to adopt the same law amid local opposition. The Netherlands has said local governments should use the time to help communities get used to the idea of gay marriage.
The other Dutch Caribbean islands of St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba have to recognize same-sex marriages but don’t have to legalize them because they have a more autonomous relationship with the Netherlands.
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