Sunday, October 17

In Switzerland, marriage for all acclaimed after twenty years of debate

No sooner were the results of the referendum known when, on the set of the program “Mise au point” of RTS1, the first public television channel in French-speaking Switzerland, the Geneva Green politician, Nicolas Walder, announced his intention. to get married as soon as possible with his companion. A few hours earlier, Sunday, September 26, Swiss voters had approved marriage between couples of the same sex by 64.1%. A scene that was still unthinkable a few years ago in the Swiss Confederation, a rather progressive country, but which has often struggled to politically translate the changes in society, especially on questions of morals.

The elected ecologist put the private life of his couple at the service of the campaign for the yes: “Until then, my principle was to keep a certain distance but things have changed during this campaign. We didn’t really want to reveal our privacy, but we noticed that there are still a lot of people who have difficulty publicly speaking about their homosexuality today. We said “let’s go” because we are proud and happy to be together and because the Swiss context is still marked by homophobia. “

The result of the vote is clear. A little over a million voters rejected the text when 1.8 million of them slipped a favorable ballot at the ballot box. In addition to almost two-thirds of the voters, all the Swiss cantons have accepted marriage for all – thus giving it a double legitimacy that is often difficult to achieve – including among the last strongholds of conservatism marked by Catholic tradition, such as the cantons alpines of Valais (south) and those of central Switzerland.

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The urban vote was taken for granted across the country, which until now was one of the last four Western European states not to grant homosexuals the right to marry, along with Italy, Greece and Liechtenstein. Switzerland thus occupied only the 23e place in the ILGA-Europe ranking of countries based on equal rights for LGBTI + people just ahead of Estonia and Serbia.

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The adopted text includes access to medically assisted procreation (MAP) for female couples, and the right to adoption. As the law prohibits anonymous donation, the child will be able to know the identity of his donor from the age of 18, and the two women will be recognized as mothers at birth. On the other hand, if they use the services of a sperm bank abroad, only the biological mother will be recognized. As in the majority of European countries, surrogacy or egg donation remains prohibited. It will therefore be impossible for a male couple to resort to a surrogate mother.

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