Netherlands embassy in Athens, Greece

FAQ Same-sex marriage

This document answers 14 questions about Dutch policy on same-sex marriage. Since 1 April 2001, same-sex couples in the Netherlands have been allowed to marry.

In principle, marriage between same-sex couples entails the same conditions and consequences as marriage between couples of different sexes. The conditions and rules for entering into, solemnising and dissolving the marriage are the same, as are the couple’s rights and obligations towards each other. There are a few major differences, which have to do with the relationship with children born during the marriage.

In the Netherlands, parliament opted to enable same-sex couples to enter into the same kind of civil marriage contract that already existed for couples of different sexes. The Same-Sex Marriage Act of 21 December 2000, which entered into force on 1 April 2001, only amends the provisions of Book One of the Dutch Civil Code. So the Netherlands definitely does not have ‘gay marriage’, in the sense of a form of marriage specially for same-sex couples.

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