From 1 July 2022, same sex couples will be able to marry or convert their registered partnerships into marriage, announced the Swiss government this week.
The announcement on 17 November 2021 follows a popular vote on the subject on 26 September 2021 when 64.1% voted in favour same sex marriage.
The new law will be implemented in two phases. The first, which will begin on 1 January 2021, only applies to same sex couples who were legally married abroad and are currently recognised in Switzerland as registered partners.
All other same sex couples wanting to be legally recognised as married will need to wait until 1 July 2022 from when existing registered partnerships can be converted to marriage and unwed same sex couples can be married.
From 1 July 2022, it will not be possible to enter into a registered partnership. However, those already in a registered partnership will automatically retain that status.
Campaigning for gay marriage in Switzerland started more than 40 years ago. In 2020, laws allowing it were introduced by the federal government. However, in Switzerland it is possible to challenge new legislation by launching a referendum. Such a challenge resulted in the vote that took place on 26 September 2021 where 64.1% of voters came out in favour of the federal government’s plan to allow same sex couples to marry.