Sunday, October 24

Switzerland approves same-sex marriage by referendum

Switzerland has adopted this Sunday the marriage between people of the same sex, after a referendum in which 64% have voted in favor of these unions, in addition to the fact that they can adopt and, in the case of women, have access to the techniques of assisted reproduction and sperm banks.

This country thus becomes the thirtieth in the world to accept this marriage figure, after eight years of political and parliamentary debates on the need to recognize same-sex couples the same rights and duties as heterosexual couples.

The decision, ratified in a referendum, also comes after several months of campaigning against the ultra-conservative UDC party, which after the approval of the equal marriage by the Swiss Parliament in December, collected signatures for the vote to take place this Sunday. In Switzerland, all decisions of Parliament can be taken to a referendum if requested by at least 50,000 people.

With the exception of the radical right-wing UDC party, certain religious groups and others who argued that marriage should be reserved for a couple made up of a man and a woman, the rest of the political formations supported the initiative, of which the Green Party was the standard bearer. Switzerland thus comes out of the small group of Western European countries that have not yet legalized same-sex marriage and in which Italy, Greece and Liechtenstein have remained.

Until now, Switzerland governed the union of two people of the same sex through “registered alliances”, a figure approved in 2007 and that has since guaranteed them the same rights as heterosexual spouses, such as choosing a common surname, access to the inheritance of the spouse or widow’s income, among others, and since 2018 it also allowed them to adopt the son or daughter of the couple.

From now on, couples of married women will be able to access a sperm donation in Switzerland, where anonymous donations are prohibited, so the child will be able to know the identity of the donor when they turn 18, although the two women will be recognized as mothers from birth.

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