Switzerland To Hold A Public Vote On Gay Marriage

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Will the citizens of Switzerland vote to support same-sex love and marriage?

As the Washington Blade reports, a referendum or public vote on extending marriage rights to same-sex couples is taking place in Switzerland later this year. This comes after lawmakers approved a “Marriage for All” bill last December. But like Taiwan in 2018, conservative groups have collected more than 50,000 signatures required to hold a referendum on the issue. Now, according to Mannschaft, the public vote is expected to happen in September or November of his year.

The conservative Swiss People’s Party, which spearheaded the referendum campaign, now has to present the signatures on May, April 12. The Federal Chancellery will then review and confirm the signatures.

It’s expected that the referendum will end with a majority supporting same-sex marriage. This is due to a December 2020 poll run by LGBTQ advocates resulting in 82 percent in support of marriage equality. Then a February 2020 poll showed that 63 percent of the voters approve of a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Photo by Mélanie Villeneuve on Unsplash

If approved by the referendum, Switzerland would become the 29th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Currently, the country has civil unions for same-sex couples. But, this law, which came into effect in 2004, is largely symbolic.

Many LGBTQ advocates and same-sex couples have argued that legal partnerships do not have the same rights as straight marriages in Switzerland. For instance, partnerships do not offer full coverage with adoption rights, rights in regards to naturalization, inheritance rights, and more.

Two countries that have experienced similar referendums are Taiwan and Australia. Though, those countries got different outcomes. While Australia voted yes in support of same-sex marriage, Taiwan voted no. Though, same-sex marriage ended up coming to the Asian country anyway.

So, will Switzerland take after Australia or Taiwan in this public vote? And, will it end up getting same-sex marriage like its predecessors?


Source: The Washington Blade, Mannschaft, The Local,

2 thoughts on “Switzerland To Hold A Public Vote On Gay Marriage”

  1. There was huge opposition from the LGBT+ lobby to the Australian plebiscite, as the consensus was that parliament should just go ahead and legislate for marriage equality. It had been the Howard government who had only a decade beforehand legislated against it, in order to close a loophole in the Marriage Act wherein same-sex marriage had inadvertently already been de facto legal.

    Activists’ misgivings about the plebiscite were largely forgotten when there was a thumping majority in favour of SSM returned by voters, following which there was bipartisan support for the enabling marriage act in the Australian Federal Parliament. Since then there has been no divine retribution, just a great feeling of acceptance by the vast majority of Australians.

    It was a shame Taiwan voted against it, but encouraging that the government had the political courage to go right ahead anyway. It must be on everyone’s minds though, that the majority of Taiwanese people don’t support it. Still work to be done, and time will tell.

    I can only hope that Switzerland’s vote will mirror the polls.

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