GENEVA: Practically two-thirds of Swiss voters backed the federal government’s plan to introduce same-sex marriage in a referendum held Sunday, with campaigners calling it a historic day for homosexual rights in Switzerland.
With leads to from 20 of the rich Alpine nation’s 23 cantons, 64 % of voters backed the transfer, on a 52 % turnout.
Switzerland was one of many final international locations in western Europe the place same-sex marriage remained unlawful.
The federal government’s “marriage for all” proposals had been challenged by opponents, who efficiently triggered a referendum.
“The Swiss have dropped an enormous ‘sure’ into the poll field,” Olga Baranova, a spokeswoman for the “sure” committee, informed AFP.
She was at a restaurant within the Swiss capital Bern internet hosting the “sure” marketing campaign’s celebrations — decked out in balloons within the rainbow colors — the place drag artist Mona Gamie sang Edith Piaf’s “Hymn to Love” to rapturous applause.
“At present doesn’t change my nation,” Baranova stated.
“At present displays the change of mentality during the last 20 years. It’s actually the reflection of a really broad and essential acceptance of LGBT individuals in society.”
Switzerland decriminalised homosexuality in 1942, however quite a few native and regional police forces continued to maintain “homosexual registers”, some into the early Nineteen Nineties.
Identical-sex {couples} can already register a civil partnership, with round 700 established annually.
Nevertheless, this standing doesn’t present the identical rights as marriage, together with for acquiring citizenship and the joint adoption of youngsters.
After years of debate and dialogue, the Swiss parliament accredited a invoice final December permitting same-sex {couples} to marry within the nation of 8.6 million individuals.
Nevertheless it was challenged beneath Switzerland’s direct democracy system, with opponents gathering the 50,000 signatures wanted to place the difficulty to a referendum.
Deborah Heanni, a member of the Libero collective which campaigned for “sure”, informed AFP: “After eight years of campaigning, we’re pleased lastly to have the ability to rejoice this victory.”
Jan Muller of the “sure” committee stated: “It’s a historic day for Switzerland, a historic day with regards to equality for same-sex {couples}, and additionally it is an essential day for the entire LGBT neighborhood.”
The legislation change will permit same-sex {couples} to marry in civil ceremonies and supply them with the identical rights as these loved by different married {couples}.
Overseas spouses will develop into eligible to use for citizenship by means of a simplified process, and same-sex {couples} will probably be permitted to collectively undertake.
And, in what proved probably the most controversial facet of the referendum marketing campaign, lesbian {couples} could have entry to sperm donations.
The best-wing populist Swiss Individuals’s Celebration (SVP) — Switzerland’s largest political occasion — known as for a “no” vote.
Opponents plastered Swiss cities with stark posters decrying the commodification of youngsters and warning the legislation will “kill the daddy”.
One poster confirmed a crying child with its ear tagged like cattle, and the query: “Infants on demand?”
One other featured an enormous zombie-like head meant to symbolize a lifeless father.
“Everybody will probably be disillusioned,” Yohan Ziehli, vp of the SVP within the French-speaking Vaud canton in western Switzerland.
“Parliament made the tactical option to hyperlink two topics that ought to not have been, particularly the query of parentage which has been hidden behind the protect of marriage for all with a view to assure its success,” he informed broadcaster RTS.
A second vote was held alongside the referendum, on an initiative introduced ahead by the youth wing of the Socialist Celebration, titled “Scale back taxes on wages, tax capital equitably”.
Proponents of the so-called “99 %” initiative wished better taxation on excessive ranges of capital revenue, with the revenues generated used to cut back revenue taxes for the much less nicely off.
Outcomes thus far confirmed that 65 % voted towards the measure.

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