Netherlands – The world's first country to legalize same-sex marriage. What do you think? Since when?

The new law came into force on April 1, 2001.

At the stroke of midnight on April 1, 2001 four same-sex couples were married by the mayor of Amsterdam – Job Cohen who specifically assumed the position of head of the civil registry office to marry them. A few months earlier Cohen had become Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice responsible among other things for amending the Marriage Act.

Same-sex marriage in the Netherlands is the exact equivalent of opposite-sex marriage with the exception of one restriction: on the adoption of children in lesbian relationships. If a woman who has a spouse gives birth to a child, her wife will not automatically be recognized by law as the child’s mother but as a stepmother; the woman will have to officially adopt the child to become a legal mother. Legislation is currently being prepared to remove this restriction.

Issues concerning the nationality and citizenship of the spouses have been resolved analogously to opposite-sex marriage: to get married at least one of the partners must be Dutch or have the right to reside in the Netherlands. There is no guarantee that same-sex marriage contracted in the country will be recognized by other countries; they are likely to be recognized only by other countries which legislation includes same-sex marriages or civil partnerships.

Fun fact:

The Netherlands on 4/01/2021 celebrated 20 years since it became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage, floating a giant pink cake in the canals of Amsterdam …

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