Here are some of the advantages to same-sex marriages. Taken from the Dutch Ministry of Justice
I believe what makes same-sex marriage rights so importants is the ‘General Community of Property’ and the 'Right of Inheritance"
The consequences of marriage between two men or two women are much the same as those of marriage between a man and a woman. There are, however, some major differences relating to children and acceptance abroad. Before we look at the differences, we will list the rights and obligations that correspond.
Surname: Under Dutch law, spouses may use each other’s surname, in combination with or instead of their own. This does not apply to official documents, in which their own name always has to be used.
Maintenance: Married couples are obliged to do what is within their means to support each other. In principle, they each have to contribute to the costs of running the household.
General community of property: Under Dutch law,within marriage all assets and debts are in principle shared. Couples who want to make alternative arrangements have to do so in a prenuptial agreement, which has to be drawn up by a notary.
Pensions: Anyone who contributes to a pension scheme builds up entitlements to a retirement or surviving dependants’ pension. The entitlements built up to a retirement pension during marriage have to be divided between the partners in the event of a divorce. Here too, married couples can make their own arrangements. The surviving dependants’ pension accrues to the surviving partner on the death of his/her spouse.
Legal transactions: In certain cases, married couples must have each other’s permission before they can enter into obligations or take decisions. Examples include the sale of the matrimonial home and the conclusion of a hire purchase agreement.
Inheritance: The law of succession applies equally to same-sex married couples and married couples of different sexes. However, couples may make alternative arrangements. To do so, they need to arrange for a notary to draw up a will.
Relationship by marriage: Through marriage, couples enter into a relationship with the members of their spouse’s family. These “in-laws” have specific rights. For example, in certain court cases, they are not obliged to act as witnesses against their relative’s spouse.[/i]
However, a same-sex marriage could also cause potential problems in countries where same-sex marriages are not recognised.
[i]Recognition of the marriage abroad
At the start of this booklet, we pointed out that the Netherlands is the first country in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry. Some European countries have introduced registered partnership, but the Netherlands occupies a unique position when it comes to marriage. This means that same-sex married couples will have to take account of the fact that their marriage and its legal consequences will not always be accepted in other countries.
Legal advice: Apart from practical problems and problems in the social sphere, a same-sex married couple may also encounter legal problems. During a short stay abroad, on holiday for instance, the problems are likely to be practical or social in nature. But if they plan to stay abroad longer, or to emigrate, legal problems are likely to arise, for instance in relation to rights of inheritance. However, the fact that a country does not recognise the marriage does not mean that it attaches no legal consequences to the marriage at all. It is possible, for instance, that the property law aspects of the relationship are recognised.
Before such problems can arise, it is important for couples to seek expert legal advice either in the Netherlands or in the country in which they are residing. It might, for instance, be necessary to make further arrangements with regard to their property, or to make a will. The Dutch consulate will usually be able to say which expert or agency to contact.
The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba: Same-sex marriage is recognised in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, though it is not possible for same-sex couples to marry there.[/i]
It is also important to note that one does not need to get ‘married’ in the traditional sense of this term, an alternative is to have a 'registered partnership"
Registered partnership was introduced in 1998. Since that time, same-sex couples have been able to enter into a regulated form of cohabitation which, in law, is equal to marriage in practically every way. Nonetheless, it has now been decided to allow same-sex couples to marry. The principle of equal treatment was decisive. For many people, marriage is a symbol that carries a special meaning. They see it as a way of confirming their commitment to each other. There is no reason why same-sex couples should be denied the opportunity to do so.
The Netherlands is the first country in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry. Couples concerned must take account of the fact that their marriage will not always be accepted in other countries. The same also applies to registered partnership.
Civil marriage, registered partnership, cohabitation agreement
From 1 April 2001, couples wanting to formalise a relationship can choose from three options: civil marriage, registered partnership or a cohabitation agreement.
Registered partnership is in many ways equal to marriage. A cohabitation agreement is very different, since it only covers items which the parties themselves want it to cover. With marriage and registered partnership, most of the rights and obligations are laid down by law. Maintenance is a good example. Married couples and the parties to a registered partnership are obliged to support each other. This obligation only applies to the parties to a cohabitation agreement if they have included a provision to this effect. [/i]