This week, The Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, voted in favour of a project to allow gay marriage in Switzerland. 27 members voted for the plan, 15 against and 7 abstained.
The result follows a successful parliamentary vote on the subject and is the culmination of a 7-year campaign to achieve full marriage rights for all.
One of the key sticking points was whether a constitutional change was required to make it happen or whether a change of law would be enough.
Article 14 of Switzerland’s constitution states that “The right to marry and to have a family is guaranteed.” Those in favour of a legal change argued there was no need to change this because it already accommodates marriages of any kind.
A majority of The Council of States agreed that a legal change involving an amendment to the civil code would be sufficient – 22 for, 20 against and 2 abstentions.
The rules around lesbien couples’ access to sperm are yet to be agreed.
In addition, a referendum on the subject and one has already been announced. Olga Baranova, one of those behind the project to achieve full marriage rights views the referendum as a conservative attempt to overturn their work. In an interview with RTS she said her team were ready to win the referendum.