On Sunday, 26 September, Switzerland became the world's 30th country to legalise same-sex marriage and the right of same-sex couples to adopt children, BBC reported.
The legalisation also gives lesbian couples the right, using sperm donations, to have children.
LGBT campaigners and progressive groups were jubilant about the decision. Jan Muller, who works for the 'yes' campaign committee, told news agency AFP that this was a "historic day for Switzerland", and "an important day for the whole LGBT community."
Amnesty International also stated that permitting civil marriages for same-sex couples was a "milestone for equality", reported Reuters.
Switzerland was one of the few remaining countries in Western Europe yet to make same-sex marriage legal. The first country in the world to do was the Netherlands in 2001.
Not all were happy about the referendum outcome. Explicit disappointment was expressed by Monika Rueegger of Switzerland's right-wing populist Swiss People's Party (SVP) and member of "No to Marriage for All".
"Children and Fathers are the losers here", she stated to Reuters.
In the days preceding the vote, church groups and conservative parties had campaigned against the legalisation of same-sex marriage, arguing that it would the damage traditional family values and culture.
The Long Road to Equality
The Swiss government had legalised registered partnerships for same-sex couples since 2007. A bill to legalise same-sex marriage was brought up in 2013 and passed by the parliament after seven years in December 2020.
But opposition groups challenged the new law and successfully demanded a referendum, whose results on Sunday displayed overwhelming support for same-sex marriage.
"Whoever loves each other and wants to get married will be able to do so", said Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter, adding that same-sex marriages would officially commence in July 2022.
(With inputs from BBC, AFP, and Reuters.)
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