By a large margin in Sunday’s referendum, Switzerland has finally followed in the footsteps of several Western European countries by deciding to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Official results showed the approval of same-sex marriage got 64.1 percent of the vote and won the majority of the vote in the 26 states or states in Switzerland.
The Swiss Parliament and the ruling Federal Council support the “Marriage For All” move. Switzerland has previously legalized civil partnerships for same-sex couples since 2007.
Supporters say victory in the referendum will put same-sex couples on the same legal footing as heterosexual couples, and allow them to adopt children together while facilitating citizenship for same-sex couples. This measure also allows lesbian couples to use sperm donations according to existing regulations.
Those who oppose believe that replacing civil partnerships with full marital rights would undermine family values based on the union between a man and a woman.
At a polling station in Geneva, voter Anna Leimgruber said she voted “no” to allow same-sex marriage because she believes “children need to have a father and mother.”
However, another voter Nicolas Dzierlatka who decided “agree” said what children need is love.
“I think what’s important for children is that they are loved and respected, and I think there are children who are not respected or not loved in heterosexual couples,” he added.
This same-sex marriage campaign is riddled with allegations of unfair tactics, in which cross-country parties harshly criticize each other and tear up the other party’s posters.
The LBGT hotline is inundated with complaints, hostile emails and shouts at campaigners, as well as attempts to silence opposing views.
Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million, has traditionally been conservative and only expanded the right to vote for women in 1990.
Most countries in Western Europe already recognize same-sex marriage, while most countries in central and eastern Europe do not allow marriages involving two men or two women.
Proponents of same-sex marriage say it will take months before same-sex couples can marry, mainly because of administrative and legislative procedures.
Switzerland Rejects Tax Increase Proposal
In addition to the referendum on same-sex marriage, voters also voted on Sunday to reject a left-wing proposal to raise taxes on returns from investments and capital – such as dividends – or income from rental properties in Switzerland as a way to ensure better redistribution and a fairer taxation system.
The results show 64.9% of Swiss citizens – known for its dynamic financial sector and relatively low taxes – voted against the proposal. Switzerland is also widely known as a haven for many of the world’s richest people. Not a single canton or state supports the proposal. (em/pp)