Switzerland’s first gay couples have legally tied the knot


switzerland lesbian couple same-sex marriage
Image: Deutsche Welle

A lesbian couple together for 21 years were among the first to tie the knot as Switzerland’s same-sex marriage laws finally begin.

Laure and Aline got legally married on Friday morning (July 1), the first day their country’s same-sex marriage laws coming into effect.

The Swiss government first announced plans to legalise “marriage for all” in the country’s parliament in 2020.

But sadly, enough opponents petitioned to challenge the move and trigger a national referendum on the issue.

The referendum was held last September and 64.1 per cent of voters ultimately supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

The first ceremonies began on Friday (July 1) in the country.

Switzerland lesbian couple Laure and Aline were married by their mayor

Laure and Aline live in Geneva, and shortly after they met entered into a civil partnership offered by their city.

Then in 2014, the couple became registered partners under Swiss law.

But that relationship registration scheme stopped short of granting the pair full marriage rights.

The couple finally legally married at the lavish Palais Eynard government building in Geneva on Friday.

Their city’s mayor Marie Barbey-Chappuis personally conducted the two women’s wedding ceremony.

switzerland lesbian couple same-sex marriage

“It was very moving. It’s a big moment and sends a very strong message to society – being free to love and be loved,” she told Agence-France Presse.

“The symbolism was particularly strong and the emotion too.

“It was high time that marriage became perfectly equal in Switzerland. It marks a moment in the history of Switzerland and of the institution of marriage.”

Later, the first two men married in the Palais Eynard, gay couple Daniel and Xavier, who’ve been a couple for 15 years, AFP reported.

Across Switzerland, hundreds of other couples will marry or officially convert their registered partnerships to marriages over the next few weeks.

Switzerland is one of the last countries in western Europe to allow same-sex marriage.

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