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Swiss support for same-sex marriage soars to 82% ahead of parliamentary debates

Swiss support for same-sex marriage soars to 82% ahead of parliamentary debates

  • One house of Switzerland’s parliament has voted for marriage equality already with the other still to decide.
People attending Pride in Switzerland.

An overwhelming 82% of Swiss people want marriage to be open to all as the country’s parliament prepares to decide on the issue.

Umbrella LGBT+ group Pink Cross commissioned the new poll by independent organization gfs-zurich. It also showed a growing majority of Swiss citizens support adoption (72%) and access to sperm-donation (70%) for same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage has been before the Swiss parliament, the Federal Assembly, for around a decade. But in June there was a big step forward when the National Council, the lower house of parliament, approved equal marriage by a big majority.

However, since then the country’s Legal Commission postponed further debate while they ensured the same-sex marriage bill was constitutional.

After that the Council of States, the upper house of parliament, has to vote in favor.

Commenting on the new poll, Salome Zimmermann, president of the ‘Marriage for All’ committee, said (translated):

‘The signal from the population is clear. After parliament has been postponing the proposal for over seven years, it is high time the National Council decided to introduce marriage for all at the legislative level.’

Support among right-wing voters

The campaigners are also pleased more voters are now supporting rainbow families. Support for same-sex adoption has grown 5% in the last year with a 4% growth in the number backing access to sperm donation for female couples.

Zimmermann adds: ‘The population wants real equality for LGBT people with no ifs and buts. Unequal treatment between married heterosexual and same-sex couples would meet with no understanding. So access to adoption and sperm donation must also be guaranteed.’

When the bill finally gets a vote in the Council of States, the outcome is not certain. Many think it may face a tougher test than in the National Council.

However the main opponents, the right-wing populist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) only holds six of the 46 seats in the Council of States.

Moreover, Switzerland has a direct democracy. So if opponents gather 50,000 voter signatures in 100 days, they can challenge new laws via a referendum.

It is not clear if the SVP will try to rally this kind or referendum.

Of course, the polling indicates Swiss voters will strongly support marriage equality. Indeed, the poll also shows that most SVP supporters (62%) actually back marriage equality.

Meanwhile the figure is even higher among the SVP’s coalition partners, the Christian Democratic People’s Party of Switzerland (CVP) – 80% of their voters support same-sex marriage.