Gay marriage would be possible for Dutch royal house, premier says

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -The Dutch crown princess can marry a person of whatever gender she chooses without forfeiting her right to the throne, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday.

Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, 17, is the heir apparent to King Willem-Alexander.

Rutte was responding to questions from parliament that arose from a recent book, "Amalia, Duty Calls".

It argued that old laws would appear to exclude the possibility of a same-sex couple on the throne. However, same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001.

"The government believes that the heir can also marry a person of the same sex," Rutte wrote in his response to parliament.

"The cabinet therefore does not see that an heir to the throne or the King should abdicate if he/she would like to marry a partner of the same sex."

Royal marriages do need the approval of parliament, however, and members of the royal house have on occasion given up their place in the line of succession, either to marry someone without permission or because they seemed unlikely to obtain it.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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