With most of the votes now counted, the Swiss approved a law in a referendum to allow marriage between homosexuals on Sunday. The law was approved in December with a clear majority, but it did not come into force because some conservative parties had collected the 50,000 signatures needed to submit the text to a referendum.
On Sunday, the Swiss therefore had to answer the question: “Do you want to accept the amendment of 18 December 2020 of the Swiss Civil Code (Marriage for all)?”. They won the Yes with a rather important majority, and therefore the law is considered definitively approved.
At the moment, homosexual couples in Switzerland can only have access to civil partnerships (registered partnerships), which guarantee fewer rights than marriages. With the new law, marriage will guarantee homosexual couples the same rights as married heterosexual couples, such as the possibility of jointly adopting a child (in civil unions, only the adoption of the partner’s child is allowed).
One of the most contested parts of the bill did not concern marriage itself, but the introduction of the possibility for married female couples to receive sperm donations, already foreseen for women married to men. For the promoters of the referendum, contrary to the law, this part would violate Article 119 of the Constitution, which for heterosexual couples allows assisted procreation only in the event of infertility or to avoid the risk of a serious illness.
According to the Swiss government, a supporter of the Yes, the law just approved allows on the contrary to eliminate all disparities, because previously legitimate civil unions do not allow equal treatment for everyone and everyone.
With the approval of homosexual marriage in Switzerland, Italy remains one of the last countries in Western Europe that has not yet approved a law on the matter.