Marriage equality law headed for victory in Swiss vote

Swiss Politics

marriage celebration
 Backers of the same-sex marriage campaign, jubilant in Bern. Keystone / Peter Schneider

A legal reform to make marriage and joint adoption available to same-sex couples is poised to be approved by Swiss citizens.This content was published on September 26, 2021 – 13:35September 26, 2021 – 13:35Domhnall O’Sullivan

Voting ended at midday on Sunday on a law that would make Switzerland the 30th country worldwide – and one of the last in Western Europe – to extend full marital status to male-male and female-female couples.

Projections published on Sunday by the Gfs Bern research institute reckoned ‘marriage for all’ could be accepted by some 64% of voters, a number reflecting opinion polls in recent weeks. Final results will be available later this afternoon.External Content

Marriage for allPENDING

Switzerland Updated on 26/09/2021, 13:54

62.5%Voter majority required37.5%

YES 738,613 443,348 NO

15.5Cantonal majority not required0

PercentageNumber of votesYes votes in %Not known1020304050607080901000Imprint

Olga Baranova, the campaign director of the “yes” side, told the Keystone-SDA news agency on Sunday she was surprised by the extent of the support, and said it was a signal to same-sex couples that the population sees them as equal – both as partners and as parents.

She added that the vote was not however simply a “symbolic” gesture, and that it was about concretely eliminating inequalities and endowing same-sex couples the same rights – including reproductive – as heterosexual pairs.

Since 2007, thanks to a civil partnership act, same-sex pairs in Switzerland have had some of the same rights as heterosexual couples. Under the new law however, they will also be able to jointly adopt children – at the moment they can only adopt children parented by one of them – and lesbian couples will be able to access sperm donors and medically assisted procreation.

Same-sex couples will also be able to apply for the same facilitated citizenship procedure available for foreign spouses of Swiss citizens.


More‘Marriage for all is a huge step on the road to equality’This content was published on Aug 15, 2021For Olga Baranova, head of the “marriage for all” campaign, a “yes” vote would end the “baseless” discrimination.


The change to the civil code, backed by government and most major political groups, was approved by parliament last December, but was challenged to a referendum by opponents who gathered the necessary 50,000 signatures.

On Sunday the campaign director of the “no” side, Anian Liebrand, told SRF television he had no regrets in having forced the topic to a public vote.

The opponents – who included the rightwing People’s Party and some members of the Centre and Evangelical parties – raised “important questions”, Liebrand said, in particular the question of sperm donation rules and the place of children.


More‘Marriage for all’ opponents hand in signatures for referendumThis content was published on Apr 12, 2021Swiss voters look set to have the last word on a same-sex marriage law after opponents handed in signatures demanding a referendum.

Throughout the campaign, opponents had argued that the right of lesbian couples to access sperm banks in Switzerland – where the name of the donor is only accessible to the child once he or she reaches 18 – effectively deprives children of the right to have a father.

They also raised the spectre – notably on gory and provocative campaign posters – of a boom in surrogacy procedures, especially abroad. The practice, which is illegal in Switzerland, is not mentioned in the new legislation.

Votes September 26, 2021

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5 replies

  1. My own personal view would be that marriage has been for thousands of years a union of the opposite sex. This same-sex thing is a new thing. Why do they not invent a new designation? Just thinking.

    • “Why do they not invent a new designation? Just thinking.”

      Because a new designation is not equality – it’s a second rate option. Homosexuality has existed since time immemorial. Equal marriage was not available previously because the world was a lot more religious and therefore homophobic than it is now.

      Once upon a time, women couldn’t vote. Should they have invented a new designation for that as well, rather than giving them an equal vote? Fortunately (some of) the world moves on, particularly those where religion is dying.

      If your personal view is that marriage is between a man and a woman, then that’s fine – you’re entitled to your view and no one will force you to marry a man. But you have no right to deny others equality.


    Homosexuality is a delicate and controversial subject prevalent in today’s society. You may be wondering about the Islamic position on homosexuality in the face of radical gay activism versus fundamentalist Christian teachings. Islam considers same-sex marriages to be invalid, thus all homosexual activity is extra-marital. As you have already read in Chapter 3, Islam forbids all sexual activity outside of marriage. Therefore, homosexual acts are considered to be sin. More specifically, Islam forbids “lewdness” between men and men, women and women, and men and women who are not married to each other. (See Holy Qur’an, 4:16-17). In addition, numerous hadith of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) condemn sodomy as hateful in the sight of God. This position against homosexuality supports the Islamic teaching of chastity and of the sanctity of sex within marriage. In general, it is consistent with a Muslim’s goal of always seeking his or herself and spiritual development and leaving aside those things which attract the lower, baser side of human beings’ nature.


  3. Well done Switzerland – although I’m shocked they didn’t already have equal marriage. A victory over the illiberal, hateful, bigots.

    • It’s only delicate and controversial to people with right-wing, illiberal, bigoted views. Those who believe in equality and human rights don’t find it delicate or controversial whatsoever.

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