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Same-sex marriage now legal in Switzerland

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Same-sex marriage now legal in Switzerland
A couple poses with a wedding cake's slice during an event following a nationwide referendum on same-sex marriage, in Swiss capital Bern on September 26, 2021. - Swiss voters have approved the government's plan to introduce same-sex marriage, according to the first projections following September 26 referendum triggered by opponents of the move. Shortly after the polls closed at noon market researchers GFS Bern, who conducted the main polling throughout the campaign, projected that the "yes" vote was heading for victory, which would bring the Alpine nation into line with most of western Europe. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Nine months after a referendum, same-sex marriage is legal in Switzerland as of Friday, July 1st.

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After Switzerland voted to legalise same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum on September 26th, 2021, the new law has entered into force on July 1st.

Gay and lesbian couples will also be able to convert their registered partnership — which did not provide the same rights as marriage, including for obtaining citizenship and the joint adoption of children — will suffice to convert a current partnership.

READ MORE: ‘Deviance and morality’: The history of the same-sex marriage movement in Switzerland

Almost two-thirds of Swiss support same-sex marriage

On September 26th, 2021, Switzerland voted to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming one of the last countries in western Europe to do so. 

Nine months after the vote, the “marriage for all” law entered into force as of July 1st, 2022, the Federal Council announced.

From this date on, gay couples will be able to marry, though the preparatory procedure for marriage can be started before this date.

Same-sex couples can also to convert their registered partnership into marriage: a simple joint declaration to a civil status officer will suffice to convert a current partnership.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Swiss voters say big ‘yes’ to same-sex marriage

This law will be enacted after 64 percent of Swiss voters backed the move in a September 26th nationwide referendum.

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Lengthy battle

Switzerland decriminalised homosexuality in 1942, but numerous local and regional police forces continued to keep “gay registers”, some into the early 1990s.

Same-sex couples can already register a civil partnership, with around 700 established each year.

READ MORE: Everything that changes in Switzerland in July 2022

However, this status does not provide the same rights as marriage, including for obtaining citizenship and the joint adoption of children.

After years of debate and discussion, the Swiss parliament approved a bill in December 2020 allowing same-sex couples to marry in the country of 8.6 million people.

But it was challenged under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, with opponents gathering the 50,000 signatures needed to put the issue to a referendum.

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