Switzerland Has Voted To Legalise Same-Sex Marriages
Switzerland has voted to legalise same-sex marriage following a historic referendum, in what campaigners have described as a ‘huge step forward’ for the country.
The final results of the referendum were announced today, September 26, revealing 64.1% of voters accepted the reform; a majority even greater than what recent opinion polls had expected.
Conservative opponents to marriage equality had triggered a referendum challenging the decision of the Swiss parliament to approve the extension of rights enjoyed by heterosexuals couples to same-sex couples last year.
Following the referendum, same-sex couples will now also be able to adopt children and gain easier routes to citizenship for foreign spouses, while lesbian couples will be able to access sperm donation services. Same-sex couples had previously only been able to enter into a civil partnership, which was made legal in 2007.
Polling ahead of the vote had predicted a comfortable victory for the ‘Marriage for All’ campaign, with voters in favour estimated at around 63% compared with about 35% against. The final results have been reported by Swiss Info.
Same-sex marriage was opposed by the country’s three main conservative/Christian political parties, including the right-wing Swiss People’s party, which claimed the new equal rights legislation would ‘kill the father’ and lead to the ‘commodification’ of children.
Ahead of the vote on Saturday, September 25, Zurich-based couple Corinne Guntern and Anouk Oswald told Reuters that the referendum marked an ‘important milestone’ for LGBTQ Swiss, with Oswald saying, ‘I want to be able to choose for myself if I want to marry this partner next to me and if it’s the right path for us to start a family.’
The result of the referendum now leaves Italy as the only country in western Europe where same-sex marriage has not been legalised, although several European Union members, including Poland and Hungary, have passed anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent years.
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