On 26 September 2021, Swiss voters will decide whether legal amendments to allow gay marriage should be accepted.
Currently, two men or two women cannot marry in Switzerland. Instead they may only enter into a legal partnership. To remove this anomaly the government agreed in 2020 to amend the civil code to allow same-sex marriage.
However, a committee spearheaded by the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) and the Federal Democratic Union (UDF/EDU) launched a vote against the government’s proposed legal amendment.
Couples in legal partnerships have many of the same rights as married couples. They can for example adopt the children of their partner. However, they cannot both adopt a child together from a third party and female couples can cannot access donated sperm. The amendment will change this.
Vote organisers argue that giving lesbian couples access to sperm ignores the wellbeing of fatherless children who will develop identity problems.
Supporters argue that gay couples should enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples and that the wellbeing of children is not a product of family configuration.
Support for allowing gay marriage in Switzerland is high and both the parliament and Federal Council are behind it.