A same-sex marriage bill has been approved by the Swiss Parliament. While the country has offered civil unions since 2007, same-sex marriage, full-joint adoption and IVF access are unavailable as of 2020.
It comes as a surprise to many that LGBTQ+ people in Switzerland lack full legal marriage equality.
The country is one of Europe’s oldest democracies and human rights are “comprehensively guaranteed” according to Freedom House.
It is now likely that the matter of same-sex marriage will go to a referendum where Swiss citizens will be asked to vote. The Christian, ultra-conservative Federal Democratic Union party has announced that it will ask for the legislation to be put to a referendum.
Provision for same-sex marriage has travelled through various stages in Government departments since 2013 and a marriage bill was drafted by the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council and was finalised in early 2019.
The bill was passed on June 11, 2020, by 132 votes to 52. The wording of the bill allows couples in same-sex relationships to marry and access sperm donations.
“This is a historic victory for the rights of the LGBTQ+ Community,” Amnesty Switzerland wrote in a tweet.
The Rainbow Families Association in Switzerland said it was preparing for the bill to become a public vote.
“If the opponents launch a referendum, we’re ready,” said Matthias Erhardt, deputy president of the national committee especially set up on “marriage for all”.
“We have 82% of the population behind us and, thanks to the mobilisation of the LBGTQ+ community, our partner organisations and the political parties who support us, we will be able to further increase acceptance of LGBT people in society,” he said.
A recent poll shows that marriage equality receives upwards of 80% support from the Swiss public.
In February 2020, the vast majority of Swiss voters elected to ban discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.
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