Same-sex marriage is one step closer in Switzerland, after the National Council voted in favour of the 'Marriage For All' initiative.
Switzerland's lower house surprisingly voted in favour of a proposal with two important components which will have potentially significant impacts for same-sex couples. The first part of the proposal is to allow same-sex couples to marry in Switzerland. The second is allowing lesbian couples to access sperm donation services.
The proposal passed the National Council by 132 votes to 52, with 13 abstentions. Other than the right-wing Swiss People's Party, the proposal was supported by all major Swiss political parties.
The proposal will now go to the Council of States, where if approved it will be put before the Swiss populace for a referendum.
The vote in the Council of States is not expected until after summer, with the referendum to be scheduled if the vote is successful. The National Council vote follows a referendum in February which criminalised homophobia.
Same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Switzerland. There is a ‘registered partnership’ option which allows couples (and de facto same-sex couples) to enjoy many of the same rights and obligations as married couples.
A new step towards equality. It's time Switzerland!