ZURICH: On Sunday in a referendum, Switzerland agreed to leagalise civil marriage and the right to adopt children for same sex couples by almost two-thirds majority making it one of the last countries in Western Europe to legalise gay marriage.
Since 2007, Switzerland has allowed same sex couples to register partnerships though some rights are still restricted. The measure will make it all possible for the same sex couples to adopt unrelated children and for married lesbians couples to have children through sperm donation. Also, It makes Switzerland the 30th country in the world to adopt same sex marriage.
Jan Muller of the “yes” campaign committee told AFP news agency “It is a historic day for Switzerland, a historic day when it comes to equality for same-sex couples, and it is also an important day for the whole LGBT community. According to Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter the first same sex marriages would take place in July next year. “Whoever loves each other and wants to get married will be able to do so, regardless of whether it is two men, two women, or a man and a woman.”
Therefore, Amnesty International said in a statement that opening civil marriage to same-sex couples was a “milestone for equality”. Over the last 20 years, most countries in Western Europe have recognized same sex marriage. However, many big decisions go to a nationwide ballot in Switzerland, this can slow down major changes to social legislation.