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Same-gender marriage
Amsterdam Connect > City Guide > Gay & Lesbian > Same-gender marriage

Same gender marriage

The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-gender marriages since April 2001.
The law which made this possible doesn’t explicitly mention it as a gay or lesbian marriage, but as a marriage between people from the same gender. This way it wasn't necessary to add a new law to the Civic Code but simply change to the existing marriage law.

This is what article 1:30 of the Civic Code now states:
Een huwelijk kan worden aangegaan door twee personen van verschilend of van gelijk geslacht.
(A marriage can be contracted by two people of different or the same gender.)

There are two persons who have made same gender marriage a possibility in the Netherlands; namely Henk Krol founder and editor-in-chief of the Gay Krant and Job Cohen, current Mayor of Amsterdam. Before becoming Mayor, Cohen had been the junior minister of Justice in the Government and was responsible for putting the new marriage and adoption laws through parliament.

In the mid-eighties a group of gay activists led by Henk Krol asked the Dutch government to allow couples of the same gender to get married. Then in 1995 the parliament decided to create a special commission to investigate the possibilities. This commission ended in 1997 and concluded that civil marriage should be opened up for same-gender couples.

The first registered partnerships were introduced in the Dutch law on 1st January, 1998. These registered partnerships were meant to give gay couples an alternative to marriage, though the registered partnerships can also be entered into by opposite-gender couples.  Indeed, one third of the registered partnerships between 1998 and 2001 were of opposite-gender couples. This is mainly because the law provides registered partnerships the same rights and duties as marriage.

The final legislation draft to allow same-gender marriage was discussed in parliament in September 2000. On the 1st of April 2001 at , Job Cohen (the Mayor of Amsterdam), married four same-gender couples. 

 

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