Swiss vote overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage in referendum

‘Marriage for All’ proposal backed by 64.1% of voters in a nationwide referendum

A woman walks past an electoral poster reading in French: “Yes I want it” ahead of a nationwide vote on marriage for all, on September 22, 2021, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Swiss voters have decided by a clear margin to allow same-sex couples to marry, in a referendum that brings the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe.

Official results showed the measure passed with 64.1% of voters in favour and won a majority in all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons.

Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said the federal government “welcomes this decision because the state should not dictate how people should organise their private life.”

“The Federal Council will quickly implement the will of the people,” she went on. “According to current planning, the new provisions can come into force on July 1, 2022 — same-sex couples will probably be able to get married in Switzerland from this point in time.”

She also noted that married women couples should then be able to “make use of the legally regulated sperm donation”.

The result was largely in line with polls released in the lead-up to the ballot, which suggested that 63% of voters in the wealthy Alpine country would say yes to reform.

Switzerland is among the last Western European countries where it is still outlawed. Same-sex marriage was first approved in Europe in the Netherlands 20 years ago.


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