The LGBTQ community faces ongoing frustration as Switzerland once again delays the same-sex marriage vote, claiming they need more time to make sure it’s constitutional. Despite the setback, however, they do remain hopeful. Read on for the full story.
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Switzerland Pushes Back Same-Sex Marriage Vote Yet Again
After the lower house of the Swiss parliament voted to allow same-sex marriage by a wide margin, the issue once again hit a roadblock in the upper house (Council of States), according to Gay.It news, Their reasoning? They need more clarification on the constitutionality of the bill”
Although Switzerland has allowed civil unions for same-sex couples since 2007, this arrangement doesn’t provide all of the same rights as marriage. For example, gay couples have a harder time adopting children together or even gaining access to in vitro fertilization to start their own biological families.
LGBTQ Activists Frustrated Yet Hopeful
LGBTQ+ activists throughout Switzerland are definitely frustrated, but they remain hopeful. During an interview with Gay Star News, Salome Zimmerman, chair of the Marriage for All Committee, said,
“Switzerland is used to long political trials, but in the case of marriage for all, the patience of the people affected is particularly tested. This renewed postponement increases the legal uncertainty for many families. It has been proven that children in rainbow families grow up just as happy.”
She added that experts as well as the Swiss people are on their side, and “support is growing every day.
Some activities worry that the bill may be harder to pass through the upper house than it was through the lower, due to conservatives within the house. However, Switzerland’s own alt-right party- the People’s Party- only holds six seats in the house while other parties hold 40.
Still, activists worry that the alt-right party could force through a referendum to appeal same-sex marriage equality should the house pass it.
Their fears may be unfounded, however. A recent survey done by the Pink Cross found that 81% of Swiss respondents support marriage equality, with 63% strongly supporting it. Also, 63% of voters approved a hate crime law, outlawing expressions of homophobia.
Same-sex marriage is only legal in about 30 of the world’s 195 countries. While many nations do have civil union laws, as is the case in Switzerland, it’s just not the same. If the upper house passes the law, it will be a major victory for LGBTQ advocates worldwide. We’ll keep you updated.