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Switzerland massively reaffirms marriage equality in national / LGBTQ nation referendum

The flag of Switzerland (left) and the country’s largest city, Zurich (right) waving a pride flag in the city center on September 4, 2021.Photo credit: Robert Buchel / Shutterstock

In a nationwide referendum on marriage equality held today, called “Marriage for All,” Swiss citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing same-sex marriages and equal heterosexual marriages.

The majority of the 26 cantons, or member states, of the Swiss Federation voted in favor of marriage equality. Final figures show that 64.1 percent of voters, or nearly two in three, supported the measure.

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In December, Switzerland became the 29th country on the planet to legalize marriage equality. The Swiss National Council – the lower house of the Alpine country’s legislature – has approved a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and lesbian couples to have access to sperm banks.

The previous month, the Council of States – the upper house of the legislature – passed the same bill with 22 to 15 votes, the first time that marriage equality legislation has been amended since it was first passed. first proposed by the country’s Green Party in 2013.

When the bill was passed, a national referendum was not necessary, but anti-LGBTQ groups and politicians staged enough signatures by April 2021 to force a referendum on the law.

While the polls showed marriage equality to be in the majority, most polls before the referendum underestimated the support he had among Swiss voters. Much of the opposition focused on the proposed code of law affecting lesbian couples and sperm banks.

From 2007 until today, same-sex couples in Switzerland have been allowed to form domestic partnerships with limited rights, especially in matters of adoption and immigration. Many opponents of marriage equality have argued that it should serve same-sex couples enough, but LGBTQ advocates across the country have argued otherwise.

The Associated press reports that Switzerland is a “traditionally conservative” nation with a population of 8.5 million, noting that it only extended the right to vote to all women in 1990. At the same time as the referendum “ Marriage for all, ”a similar majority of Swiss voters – 64.9 percent – voted against an increase in the tax on investment and capital returns.

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