Switzerland’s government has confirmed the public will vote on same-sex marriage after opponents gathered enough support to force a binding referendum.
Last December, the Swiss parliament approved a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry.
They also passed legislation allowing transgender people to update their legal gender without a costly court application.
However in Switzerland, if opponents to a law can collect 50,000 valid signatures within 100 days the decision can go to a public vote.
The Swiss government has now confirmed opponents to same-sex marriage had obtained over 61,000 valid signatures.
The government will next month set the date for the referendum on “Marriage For All”. The vote is likely in the second half of the year.
Switzerland opponents targeted law with petitions for referendum
Earlier, Switzerland’s largest party, the populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP), and others warned they would target the law.
The SVP declared marriage between a man and a woman and said “placing marriage on an equal footing with any form of cohabitation” is “intolerable”.
Switzerland is one of the few remaining countries in Europe where same-sex marriage is not legal. The country has had civil unions since 2004.
Equality advocates said in December polling shows overwhelming majority support for same-sex marriage among the country of 8.6 million people.
A coalition of pro-marriage equality groups have declared they’re ready for the campaign.
“We have 82 percent of the population behind us,” campaigner Matthias Erhardt told The Local.
“Thanks to the mobilization of the LGBT community, our partner organizations, and the political parties who support us, we will be able to further increase acceptance of LGBT people in society.”
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