General News

Switzerland moves on marriage equality laws

Rachel Badham December 9, 2020

Switzerland is set to become the next European country to legalise same-sex marriage after the Council of States, the country’s upper house of legislature, voted in favour of marriage ‘for all’. The potential law was passed with a 22-15 vote, and seven abstentions. The lower house of legislature, the National Council, voted in favour of marriage equality in June, and the bill would also facilitate lesbian couple’s access to sperm donates and co-adoption rights.

According to Swiss Info, the Marriage for All campaign was launched in 2013, but it has taken many years to reach a point where same-sex couples will soon be able to wed. A 2020 survey commissioned by Pink Cross, a Swiss organisation supporting gay and bisexual men, found that over 80% of Swiss respondents said they supported same-sex marriage, with the director of the group saying: “Citizens have long been ready for gay marriage…Parliament now needs to take a step forward.”

ILGA Europe, an advocacy group for the LGBTQ+ community, has ranked Switzerland as the 23rd most equal country in the continent. It has an equality rating of 36% which is below the European average of 48%, despite passing laws earlier this year which provides legal protections from discrimination for gay and bisexual people. The country still has few discrimination protections for trans people, and ILGA Europe believes Switzerland should outlaw medical interventions on intersex minors when they are not necessary.

A Pride parade in Zurich