Swiss Voters Back Same-Sex Marriage

Switzerland’s Catholic bishops said in December that legalizing same-sex marriage was “fraught with numerous administrative, legal and ethical difficulties.”

Around 64% of voters backed the measure in a referendum on Sept. 26, making Switzerland the world’s 30th country to approve gay marriage.
Around 64% of voters backed the measure in a referendum on Sept. 26, making Switzerland the world’s 30th country to approve gay marriage. (photo: Happy Stock Photo / Shutterstock)

GENEVA, Switzerland — Switzerland voted Sunday to legalize same-sex marriage.

Around 64% of voters backed the measure in a referendum on Sept. 26, making Switzerland the world’s 30th country to approve gay marriage.

The country bordering Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein has recognized civil unions for same-sex couples since 2007, following a 2005 referendum. 

In December 2020, the Swiss parliament approved a bill, called “Marriage for All,” legalizing same-sex marriage and introduced it into the Swiss Civil Code. 

In April this year, Campaigners gathered enough signatures to secure a referendum. More than 61,000 valid signatures were submitted in favor of giving the country’s 8.5 million population a final say on the law.

CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported that the referendum result was tight in some areas of Switzerland, a federal republic officially known as the Swiss Confederation.

In the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, which is traditionally Catholic, 50.8% of voters backed the proposal, which goes into effect on July 2022.

CNA Deutsch said that Simone Curau-Aepli, president of the Swiss Catholic Women’s Federation (SKF), welcomed the referendum result.

“I am really happy that everyone has said yes to marriage for all. For us this is a highly emotional moment,” she commented

“We at the Swiss Catholic Women’s Association have been fighting for this for 20 years and stand for equal dignity and equal rights.”

Switzerland’s Catholic bishops said in December that legalizing same-sex marriage was “fraught with numerous administrative, legal and ethical difficulties.”

“[T]he Catholic Church is primarily entrusted with the sacrament of marriage. She celebrates before God the union of man and woman as a common, stable, and reproductive life laid out in love,” the Swiss bishops’ conference said in a Dec. 4 statement.

“This is why [we are] convinced, also with regard to civil marriage, that the use of the term ‘marriage’ should not be extended to any connection between two people regardless of their gender. Such a use of the term would bring about an equality that, in [our] opinion, cannot exist.”

Oscar Wergeland, “Service in a German Village Church,” ca. 1880

This Sunday, I’ll Be Going to Church. Will You Join Me?

“The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.” [CCC 2181]