When J & J got married

I wrung my hands continuously for two days, worried about my Pica 96.5% partner, Jacqueline Wernet, battling severe illness, and this morning woke up thinking she is working hard, hooked up to the ECMO heart-lung machinery, at a Bucaramanga hospital, and I should be working too, perhaps writing about something cheerful, and meaningful, spreading a bit of joy, a sprinkle of hope.

We got a report she was stable, and her numbers improved, which is encouraging.

The photo of two charming women, in pastel colored dresses went viral on the island, proving again there is great support for same sex marriage here.

It was a beautiful moment, at City Hall, two grown up professionals, both productive citizens, enjoying the rights we all do, in a historical moment that marked progress here.

If you recall at the time, 2016, our Civil Code was in discussion, but just one amendment was talked about and debated, opposed by some backward-thinking parliamentarians. That was the amendment in favor of Civil Unions, that was supposed to eventually open the door to allowing same sax marriages here. The amendment just regulated civil unions, and the legal rights of partners sharing a life without the church’s blessing.

At the pivotal moment, parliament voted, 11 pros, and 10 con. Then they dragged their heels, and tweaked because of political pressure –  conferred some rights and withheld others, and when it came to vote again after a five-year delay, 17 were pro and 3 con, again attesting to the fact that our parliament is moving in the right direction.

I personally know a number of same sex couples that are celebrating, because they are now guaranteed immigration rights for the non-Aruban partner.

While it is a great achievement, Aruba was the first island in the Caribbean back in 2016, work isn’t done yet. Parliamentarian Miguel Mansur reports he will be working to correct the imbalance and to reach an equal marriage law, not just civil unions, so that couples would have the option to convert their status.

The first law providing for marriage of people of the same sex in modern times was enacted in 2001 in the Netherlands. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to recognize same sex marriage, and Aruba is getting used to the idea, slowly but surely. Same-sex marriage is legally allowed in dozens of countries worldwide, not sure about Africa and Asia, none in the Middle East, with the exception of Israel where it is accepted when performed overseas.


Share on:

October 16, 2021
Rona Coster