Swiss voters on Sunday looked set to back a proposal to open civil marriage to same-sex couples, according to early indications published by Swiss broadcaster SRG.
Projections showed 64 per cent of voters had voted in favour of same-sex marriage and extending adoption rights for same-sex couples in a nationwide referendum conducted under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy. A final result is expected later in the day.
Amnesty International said in a statement that the move to open civil marriage to same-sex couples was a “milestone for equality”.
However, Monika Rueegger of Switzerland’s right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and a member of the referendum committee No to Marriage for All said she was disappointed.
“This was not about love and feelings, it was about children’s welfare. Children and fathers are the losers here,” she told Reuters.
Switzerland’s parliament and the governing Federal Council had supported the Marriage for All proposals, and pre-referendum polls showed solid backing.
Switzerland has authorised same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.
It will now be possible for same-sex couples to get married, and to adopt children unrelated to them. Married lesbian couples would also be allowed to have children through sperm donation, currently legal only for married heterosexual couples.
It will also make it easier for foreign same-sex spouses of a Swiss individual to get citizenship.
In a separate referendum, 66 per cent of Swiss voters looked set to reject a proposal to introduce a capital gains tax. – Reuters/AP