Saba, The “Unspoiled Queen” Of Dutch Caribbean, Hosts First Legal Gay Wedding

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s been called a “bite-sized alternative to tony St. Barts,” and now the little West Indies island of Saba has even more to offer: Earlier this month, it became the first locality in the Dutch Caribbean to legalize same-sex marriage.

Technically part of the Netherlands, Saba–nicknamed the “Unspoiled Queen”–has officially recognized gay marriage since its debut in Holland in 2001. But like fellow Dutch municipalities Bonaire and St. Eustatius, it was given time to enact marriage equality until officials were confident locals were ready to accept it.

Known for its excellent diving, the five-square-mile islet between the Virgin Islands and Saint Kitts, and has long attracted gay travelers despite its complete lack of beaches.

Even Glenn Holm, the director of the Saba Tourism Bureau, is gay.

But Holm admits that not all of Saba’s 21,000 residents are keen on same-sex nuptials: “If it’s not your bag, you don’t have to let it concern you,” he told the Washington Blade. “Live and let live, love and be allowed to love whosoever you choose to.”

He plans to use images from the island’s first gay marriage—which took place between Cedeno Xiomar Gonzalez and Israel Ernesto Ruiz Pinto (above) on December 4—in tourism materials.


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