Rutte: Royals can marry person of the same sex without abdicating
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that Princess Amalia would not have to abdicate her right to the throne should she wish to marry another woman.
Prime Minister says Dutch royals can marry whoever they want
Previous Prime Ministers in the Netherlands have voiced concerns about an heir to the throne entering into a same-sex marriage, with Prime Minister Wim Kok saying in 2000 that, in order to marry someone of the same sex, an heir would have to relinquish their right to the throne.
But times have changed since 2000, and this week Rutte made sure the Dutch rules for the royal family reflected that. Answering questions from his own political party, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), and the Labour Party (PvdA), the Prime Minister said he did not believe an heir to the throne should abdicate if they marry someone of the same sex.
“The government believes that an heir can also marry a person of the same sex,” Rutte said on Tuesday. "The cabinet, therefore, does not see that an heir apparent or the king should abdicate if they would like to marry a partner of the same sex."
Rutte didn't comment on line of succession
While same-sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands in 2001, an exception to the marriage laws existed for members of the royal family as politicians were concerned about the royal line of succession. The official government rules, therefore, state that Princess Amalia, the current heir to the throne, could not marry another woman because “no children can be born from such a marriage.”
While Rutte’s words on Tuesday show significant progress has been made over the past 20 years, the Prime Minister failed to comment on the line of succession or on whether children from a same-sex marriage would also be eligible for the throne.
While his words do signify a breakthrough, Rutte made it clear the topic would only come up for debate when the situation does eventually arise: "It is not appropriate to anticipate such a decision now; it depends too much on the facts and circumstances of the specific case, which, as you can also see in retrospect in family law, can change over time."
Thumb: © RVD - Mischa Schoemaker, via Het Koninklijk Huis.
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