Switzerland legalises Same-sex Marriage

Voters in Switzerland decided to legalize same-sex marriage on September 26, 2021. It makes Switzerland one of the last countries in Western Europe to do so.

Key Points

  • Apart from opening up the option of marriage to all couples, government also approved an amendment to Switzerland’s marriage law which was put to voters in a referendum.
  • This law also grants lesbian couples to get access to sperm banks as well as allows same-sex couples to adopt children.
  • Under the amended law, same-sex couples will be able to have a civil wedding. They will be granted the same institutional and legal rights as heterosexual couples.
  • They will be granted simplified naturalization for foreign partner.
  • Law was approved through a referendum, in which polls predicted widespread approval for same-sex marriage in the country.
  • The legislation change was accepted by 64.1 percent of voters. It also received strong support in urban as well as rural areas.

Background

Federal government has approved the marriage laws in year 2020 and in the line, parliament had also approved them, granting all couples the same rights. However, opponents were seeking to limit marriages to unions between a man and a woman. Thus, they collected signatures to force a referendum.

Same sex couple in Switzerland

Same-sex couples in Switzerland have been able to enter into a civil partnership since 2007. It grants them some legal rights. However, it is not equal to a marriage.

Country not allowing same sex marriage

Italy is the only country in Western Europe which does not allow marriage between same-sex couples. It only allows civil unions.

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