Same-Sex Marriage Wins Overwhelming Support

Switzerland approves referendum backed by government and all parties but one
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2021 12:25 PM CDT
Same-Sex Marriage Wins Overwhelming Support
Operation Libero stages weddings with three types of couples Sunday in Bern, Switzerland.   (Peter Schneider/Keystone via AP)

Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage on Sunday, endorsing a measure that carried all 26 of the nation's cantons. The referendum was on track to receive the support of 64% of voters, the BBC reports. Supporters expressed relief, and Amnesty International called the decision a "milestone for equality," per Reuters. The measure had already cleared Parliament and has the backing of all but one political party. But opponents forced a national vote anyway. Thousands demonstrated in support of the change earlier this month.

A member of the right-wing People's Party, which opposed the measure, called the electon result a loss for children and fathers. "This was not about love and feelings," Monika Rueegge said. "It was about children's welfare." Same-sex couples also will be allowed to adopt children unrelated to them and have children through sperm donation. And a foreign spouse of a Swiss citizen will have an easier time getting citizenship. It will still be months before same-sex couples can marry, per the AP, because legislative and procedural steps will need to be completed.

Supporters immediately launched celebrations, saying same-sex couples now have legal standing equal to that of heterosexual couples. Most nations in Western Europe already allow same-sex marriages. Social change often lags in Switzerland because so many major issues go to a national vote, per the BBC. It was 1990 before all Swiss women were guaranteed the right to vote. (Read more same-sex marriage stories.)

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