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Thousands Demand Same-Sex Marriage

Only civil unions are legal in Switzerland now
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 4, 2021 1:54 PM CDT
Protest Precedes Vote on Same-Sex Marriage
A crowd rallies at a Pride parade on Saturday in Zurich, Switzerland. Later this month, the nation will vote on whether to permit same-sex marriage.   (Michael Buholzer/Keystone via AP)

(Newser) – Tens of thousands protested in Switzerland on Saturday for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Alpine country. The protests came ahead of a national referendum Sept. 26 on the legalization of gay marriage, which has already been introduced in European countries including Germany, Austria, France, and the Netherlands, the AP reports. Public broadcaster SRF reported that tens of thousands participated in the Zurich Pride parade, which had the slogan: "You can do it. Marriage for everyone now." SRF reported that 70 groups from the LGBTQ community supported the protests.

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So far, same-sex couples in Switzerland can only get official approval for civil unions, which are not on equal footing as marriages. If a majority votes for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Switzerland, this would also allow couple to adopt children. In addition, lesbian couples would have easier access to sperm donations if they wanted to start a family and it would be easier for foreign partners to get Swiss citizenship. Opponents of the legalization say that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman together only and that children should have the right to have both a traditional father and a mother.

(Read more same-sex marriage stories.)

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