On September 8, 2016, the proposed amendments to the Aruban Civil Code, amongst others the introduction of the registered partnership (civil union), were accepted by the Aruban Parliament. A date on which the amendments will become law is not yet set in stone but is expected shortly.
The registered partnership introduces the possibility for same sex couples to enter into a civil union which guarantees the same lawful rights as traditional heterosexual marriages, e.g. the right to ‘marry’ and ‘divorce’ and the legal consequences thereof, the right to recognize children, and the right to inherit from each other, amongst others.
Following the Netherlands and the BES Islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), Aruba is now the second sovereign state within the Dutch Kingdom to have granted ‘same sex marriage’ legal status.
The introduction of ‘same sex marriage’ in Aruba confirms Aruba’s reputation as a safe, tolerant and progressive vacation destination, and may place Aruba ahead of current and upcoming competition.
Surely, this development will have a positive effect on the tourism industry which generates a whopping 90% of Aruba’s total GDP (in 2014, the total contribution of tourism to the Aruba GDP was AWG 4,168.5M, or 88.4% of Aruba’s total GDP; tourism was responsible for 90.8% of the total employment of 46,000 jobs in 2014; source: World Travel & Tourism Council(http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/wp-content/uploads/data_center/destinations/Aruba-WTTC-EconomicImpact2015.pdf).