Swiss legislative committee backs same-sex marriage

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A Swiss legislative committee has overwhelmingly recommended that the country extends marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council, which is the lower house of the Swiss Federal Assembly, voted 12-2 to approve a “marriage for all” initiative introduced by the Green Liberal Party on Friday.

Pink Cross, Swiss Rainbow Families Association and Transgender Network Switzerland welcomed the move in a joint statement.

“The Swiss LGBT umbrella associations support marriage equality and applaud the members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council for their support and foresight and for assuming their responsibility to grant all Swiss the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution,” they said.

“We are not asking for special rights; we are simply asking for equality. And we are asking for marriage equality because our relationships are as strong and our families are as worthy as those of everyone else in Switzerland.”

The Local reports a poll conducted by the Léger institute found that 54% of respondents favoured same-sex marriage, although a majority of men were opposed.

The results showed that 62% of women supported same-sex marriage, compared to 46% of men.

Another survey, conducted by gfs-Zurich, found that 71% of respondents were favourable or “somewhat favourable” to same-sex marriage.

Switzerland introduced registered partnerships for same-sex couples in 2007.

Any move to legalise same-sex marriages would require a change to the Swiss Constitution and the approval of Swiss citizens in a national referendum.