Adopted last December by parliament, registration of same-sex marriage is subject to popular vote. The text also provides for an expansion of assisted reproduction, adoption and access to sperm donation for all.
It is among the last countries in Western Europe not to have legalized same-sex marriage. Sunday, September 26, a referendum calls on all the cantons to vote for or against the inclusion in the Constitution of civil marriage between spouses of the same sex. Since 2004, homosexual people had the possibility of uniting by a “registered partnership“. In this context, they could have a common name, receive part of the spouse’s inheritance or, since 2018, adopt their partner’s child. But the advocates of marriage for all regretted a “inequality of rights».
This Sunday’s referendum aims to give homosexual couples access to adoption, and lesbian couples medically assisted procreation (PMA). In case of “Yes“, The law will also establish dual filiation, ie the recognition of two women as mothers, as well as access to sperm donation.
Eight years of debate
This is the first time that the Swiss people have been invited to speak out on the issue. However, it has been the subject of parliamentary work for almost eight years. The debate began in 2013, when the conservative PDC Suisse (Christian Democratic Party) wanted to include in the constitution a definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This initiative was rejected by referendum by a very small majority, 50.8% of the voters. In reaction, however, the Vert’liberal party puts on the table the subject of marriage for all, for total equality between couples: the same tax regime, the same right to adoption, and the possibility of the PACS for heterosexual as well.
In 2015, the National Council and the Council of States gave their approval for a bill on marriage and civil partnership for all. But several years pass before a real project emerges for a modification of the Constitution. Several versions of the text are in turn debated in Parliament, until December 18, 2020, when the final text is approved by Parliament. It consists of a modification of the Civil Code including access to assisted reproduction for lesbian couples and the facilitated naturalization of the partner as well as adoption.
The polls favor the “Yes»
In the process, the political parties opposed to marriage for all, the Federal Democratic Union (UDF) and the Central Democratic Union (UDC), launched a request for a referendum. From April 2021, the necessary 50,000 signatures are obtained, and the plebiscite is scheduled for September 26.
In a press release at the beginning of September, the committee “No to the child-object“, One of the instigators of the referendum, expressed his fears concerning the reform, which risks, according to him, to contribute to a”systematic undertaking of demolition of the foundations of society“. Opponents fear the opening of the “Assisted reproduction abroad, egg donation, surrogacy“Or”PMA for single“. There is “no mystery, everything is programmed», They assure.
For their part, associations for the defense of rights for LGBT +, in particular the committee “Civil marriage for all“, Are rather confident in view of the recent polls. At the end of August, the research institute gfs.bern published a survey indicating that the Swiss are largely in favor (69%) of the principle of marriage for all, 55% saying “absolutely for“And 14%”rather for“. On September 4, several thousand people marched on Saturday during the Zurich Pride in favor of the rights of the LGBTQ community. They loudly claimed a “YesIn the referendum.
The climate has become somewhat tense in recent weeks around the countryside on both sides. In particular, posters of opponents reacted, one of them representing a zombie head captioned “children with a dead“. It was thus about “thematize the ritual death of the father figure, which will disappear from Civil Law in the event of a yes», Explained Oskar Freysinger, former national councilor of state of the SVP and spokesperson for a committee of opponents.