Switzerland inches closer to marriage equality and same-sex adoption as parliament backs crucial bill

Switzerland marriage equality

Switzerland has inched closer to marriage equality and same-sex parenting after the country’s National Council approved draft legislation.

The Marriage for All bill won broad support across the political spectrum in Switzerland, which currently has civil partnerships.

Just one party opposed the bill – the right-wing Swiss People’s Party – however, the Christian Democratic Party said it would only support the legislation if sperm donation for lesbian couples was excluded.

The lower house of parliament voted in favour of the draft legislation yesterday, according to The Local.

The bill was passed by 132 to 52 votes, with 13 abstentions. It will now go to the upper house for a vote.

The marriage bill in Switzerland will also give same-sex couples adoption rights.

If it is passed, the bill will guarantee the right to marry regardless of gender in Switzerland – but there are a number of other benefits attached too.

The bill would also allow female same-sex couples to access sperm donation and would allow all same-sex couples to jointly adopt children.

However, campaigners have warned that the battle is not yet won for marriage equality.

While the legislation has won broad political support, it has a potentially arduous road ahead before it can become law.

The bill will next go to the Council of States, the upper house of parliament in Switzerland, and they are not expected to vote on it until after summer.

The bill will have to go to a public vote.

Furthermore, if it is approved by the upper house, the bill will then be put to the people in the form of a referendum, The Local reports.

A referendum date cannot be set until the upper house has approved the legislation.

Switzerland’s minister for justice Karin Keller-Sutter expressed her support for the bill, saying the law “should be revised in stages and same-sex marriage introduced as soon as possible”.

The move comes just months after the people of Switzerland voted in favour of an anti-homophobia bill.

The country went to the polls in February of this year to vote to outlaw discrimination and hatred based on sexual orientation.

Switzerland has typically lagged behind on LGBT+ rights, however campaigners in the country are hopeful that progress could be on the horizon.