Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Law in Switzerland

In a referendum held in September, over two-thirds of the population of Switzerland voted in favor of legalizing civil unions and the ability of same-sex couples to adopt children.

HomoCulture Equality + Rights Triston Brewer

This article was published on September 21st, 2022

It took Switzerland quite a while to catch up with the rest of western Europe, but alas, the time has finally come! It has been a process and then some for those that have been working actively to change the laws for years. One gay man in Switzerland as an example – Carnier, who joined a civil union with partner Leu in 2014 – has been actively involved in a movement to recognize homosexual rights and said of the new law: “The ceremony was really extremely meaningful to me since this has been 20 years in the making.”

Other queer people reacted to the news and expressed what it meant to their personal lives. One lesbian couple – Aline, who is 46 years old, and Laure, who is 45 years old – also got married after 21 years of dating across the nation in Geneva.

Politicians in the Country Speak Out on the Law’s Impact

Geneva Mayor Marie Barbey-Chappuis, who was present, described the ceremony as “a very poignant and much-anticipated event, which conveys a powerful message to the nation, the message of love, the message that all sexual preferences are equal. However, same-sex couples lacked privileges accorded to heterosexual married couples, such as usual baby adoption and sperm donation access and a simpler route to get a permanent residence for overseas spouses. These choices are now available to same-sex couples through marriage. Furthermore, Leu stated, “I believe it’s critical that our marital relationship should be acknowledged on an equal basis and not be overlooked in a certain category.

The men intend to wed in a church the following year to declare their union officially. The legislature of the Swiss Church, with which Carnier serves, decided in June to provide same-sex unions with the same rites and ceremonies as heterosexual unions. Leu and his ex-wife have two grown children, and two-and-a-half-year-old grandchild – they have all be invited to their rituals.

If she had three grandfathers as a child, Leu is “convinced” that it would come naturally to her. “The possibilities have grown. One should admit the fact that today’s lifestyles are diverse.

The new law, however, faced some opposition as Switzerland’s Christian Democrats pushed for a referendum in 2016 that would define marriage as “durable cohabitation between a man and a woman”, to make same-sex weddings illegal under the constitution.

With a population of 8.5 million, Switzerland is a traditionally conservative country and was until recently among a few western European nations that didn’t recognize same-sex marriages. Currently, Greece, Italy, Andorra, Monaco, and San Marino only allow male-female couples to marry. Most countries in central and eastern Europe do not allow same-sex marriage.

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