Switzerland Votes To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage By Nearly Two-Thirds Majority

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GENEVA (AP) — Cheers rang out, hugs had been exchanged and rainbow-colored flags waved overhead throughout Switzerland because the Swiss resoundingly voted to permit same-sex {couples} to marry, last outcomes of a nationwide referendum confirmed Sunday.

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Official outcomes confirmed the measure handed with 64.1% of the vote whereas greater than half of all voters accepted in every of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, or states. The vote – years within the making – is about to convey the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe and wraps up an usually tense marketing campaign between rival sides.

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Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter tweeted that the federal government will implement the choice shortly and, below present plans, the brand new guidelines can take impact on July 1.

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Switzerland’s parliament and the governing Federal Council — on which she sits — had supported the “Marriage for All” measure, which marks a key step for larger rights for gays and lesbians in Switzerland. The nation has licensed same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.

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“With this, all {couples} will sooner or later be handled equally earlier than the legislation: all can enter right into a civil marriage, with the identical rights and obligations,” Keller-Sutter wrote.

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Passage is about to place same-sex companions on an equal authorized footing with heterosexual {couples} by permitting them to undertake youngsters and facilitating citizenship for same-sex spouses. It should additionally allow lesbian {couples} to make the most of regulated sperm donation.

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“This can be a historic day for us and for Switzerland, it is a nice step ahead, one thing we’ve got been ready for for years,” mentioned Laura Russo, co-president of the Geneva Federation of LGBT Associations, at a gathering of joyous supporters of the measure alongside a Geneva pedestrian avenue. “This initiative was begun in 2013; we needed to wait Eight years for the vote to occur — and right here, it is a large ‘Sure.’”

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Opponents consider that changing civil partnerships with full marriage rights would undermine households primarily based on a union between a person and a lady.

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Benjamin Roduit of the Christian Democratic Individuals’s Social gathering, which spearheaded the hassle to cease same-sex marriage, claimed not less than some success in elevating consciousness about his celebration’s positions regardless of the defeat on the poll field.

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“On our aspect we’ve got tried to attract consideration to the central drawback, the one in all youngsters and medically assisted procreation,” he mentioned. “On that time, I feel we’ve got succeeded in elevating consciousness among the many Swiss folks and we’ll nonetheless be right here when different steps can be proposed.”

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The marketing campaign has been rife with allegations of unfair techniques, with the opposing sides decrying the ripping down of posters, LGBT hotlines getting flooded with complaints, hostile emails, shouted insults in opposition to campaigners and efforts to silence opposing views.

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Switzerland, which has a inhabitants of 8.5 million, is historically conservative and solely prolonged the correct to vote to all ladies within the nation in 1990.

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Most international locations in Western Europe already acknowledge same-sex marriage, whereas most of these in Central and Jap Europe don’t allow wedlock between two males or two ladies.

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At a polling station in Geneva, voter Anna Leimgruber mentioned she forged her poll for the “no” camp as a result of she believed “youngsters would want to have a dad and a mother.”

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However Nicolas Dzierlatka, who voted “sure,” mentioned what youngsters want is love.

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“I feel what’s essential for youngsters is that they’re liked and revered — and I feel there are kids who should not revered or liked in so-called ‘hetero’ {couples},” he mentioned.

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Additionally on Sunday, voters dismissed a proposal spearheaded by left-wing teams to lift taxes on returns from investments and capital resembling dividends or earnings from rental properties in Switzerland as a method to make sure higher redistribution and fairer taxation.

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Outcomes confirmed 64.9% voting in opposition to it in a rustic recognized for its vibrant monetary sector and comparatively low taxes, and as a haven for lots of the world’s richest folks. No canton voted in favor.

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