Switzerland has narrowly rejected a constitutional change which would have made same-sex marriage nearly impossible.
In a referendum held today (28 February), 50.8% of Swiss citizens voted against the proposal, with 49.2% voting in favor.
Introduced by the Christian Democratic People’s Party (CVP), the initiative – titled Für Ehe und Familie – Gegen die Heiratsstrafe (For marriage and family – against the penalty of marriage) – would’ve seen unmarried couples receive tax relief currently reserved for married couples.
But it would’ve come at the cost of same-sex couples: the initiative’s proposed change to the constitution would’ve included the definition of marriage as between man and woman.
LGBTI groups in the country accused the CVP of covertly trying to block any future attempts to grant same-sex couples complete marriage equality.
At the moment, Switzerland only allows civil partnerships.
The CVP admitted defeat before all votes were counted, as the last result – coming from Montereux – only marginally changed the end result, which at the time sat at 50.5% to 49.5%.