ZURICH – Same-sex couples can get married in Switzerland from July 1st next year, the government announced on Wednesday and adopted the results of a groundbreaking referendum on this topic in September.
Those entitled to vote approved the “Marriage for All” initiative with an almost two-thirds majority, making Switzerland one of the last countries in Western Europe to legalize gay marriage.
In a two-stage process, same-sex couples who have married abroad will have their status recognized from the beginning of January. Previously, the couples were considered a registered partnership in Switzerland.
The new law comes into effect six months later, which means that couples will be able to marry or convert their registered partnership from July 1, 2022.
Marriage preparations can be filed before that date, the government added. No more registered partnerships are allowed after this date.
Proponents expect that several hundred people will benefit from the change in the law in the first year of entry into force.
“We are very satisfied with the result of the vote and that it is now being implemented in legislation,” said Maria von Kaenel, co-president of the “Marriage for All” campaign on Wednesday.
“We have been fighting for marriage equality for 30 years and the referendum result was a historic moment.”