Swiss voters yesterday supported Marriage for All — Mariage Pour Tous — with a resounding 64% YES vote. In addition to winning the support of the majority of the electorate, the YES vote also triumphed in all Swiss cantons.
The 64% YES vote exceeded the 55% predicted by opinion polls in advance of the referendum.
While most West European countries already legislated for same-sex marriage, Switzerland’s system of federal referendums complicated the issue in the Alpine country.
The Swiss federal legislature voted in favour of Marriage For All in December 2020, seven years after members of the Green Liberal Party originally introduced a bill. However, Swiss statutes are subject to a referendum if opponents can collect 50,000 signatures within three months.
Conservative Swiss political parties and church groups consequently organised opposition to the bill. But Swiss voters chose overwhelmingly to vote in favour of marriage equality. Despite loud opposition from the Swiss bishop’s conference, even the country’s avowedly conservative majority Catholic cantons voted YES.
Marriage for All — Mariage Pour Tous
As the result became clear, Marriage for All’s Antonia Hauswirth told Reuters, “We are very happy and relieved.”
Maria von Känel,co-president of the Marriage for All, has been with her partner for over 24 years. She said, “Today is a historic day, a milestone for equality, and also for me in my love for my partner.”
Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said marriage for all will probably become legal from 1 July 2022.
In addition to allowing same-sex marriage, the passing of the referendum will mean same-sex partners can now adopt children together. It will also facilitate citizenship for same-sex spouses and allow lesbian couples to utilise sperm donation.
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