(Blogmensgo, gay blog of March 1st, 2016) This past weekend, the Swiss had to vote on a number of subjects during a referendum. Besides the question on a second Gotthard tunnel and the expulsion of criminal foreigner, the Swiss had to give their opinion about “marriage and family” – which was a nicely gift-wrapped attack on same-sex couples and gay marriage.
The referendum on marriage and family had been introduced by the Christian-Democratic People’s Party (CDP). Superficially, it was about the protection of marriage and family but in fact, it was about the following amendment of article 14 of the constitution: “Marriage is the intentionally lasting union of a man and a woman.”
Not only gays, lesbians, bi- and transsexuals were against this constitutional amendment but many other people with a sense of tolerance and respect as well. An example is Martin who explains his thoughts in the following video (in Swiss-German with French subtitles):
Martin with his clear and very personal statements on acceptance and respect of gays and lesbians.
A failed initiative of the CDP
The initiative was most clearly rejected by voters living in urban areas such as Basel-City (68.6%), Basel-Suburbia (65.9%) or Zurich (64.3%), where homosexual couples can already register their partnership. Voters in the rural parts of Switzerland were mostly for the initiative. The new law will allow gays and lesbians to have their partnership registered at the civil registry office.
Triumph of marriage for all?
Considering the very slim margin between supporters and opponents, we may safely assume that it was well worth the work of mobilizing voters against the CDP initiative.
The parliament will now look into opening marriage for all people, and this is likely to be on the ballots of a future referendum.
Two more legislation initiatives are being prepared, namely on adoption of a child by the registered partner of a parent and on naturalization of a foreign partner.