Switzerland legalises same-sex marriage


Central Europe


Wedding cake. Photo AFP, Fabrice Coffrini

Same-sex couples are now allowed to marry in Switzerland. On Friday, the Swiss government declared marriage "open to everyone". Switzerland is one of the last West-European countries to legalise same-sex marriage.

On June 1 Switzerland opened marriage to partners of the same sex. A lot of Swiss same-sex couples got married the same day. In Zurich alone, 24 same-sex couples tied the knot. "Today is the moment to celebrate our love," said Roman Heggli, manager of gay and bisexual men's rights organisation Pink Cross. This reported Ref.ch.

Before the legislation came into force, Swiss same-sex couples could only get a registered partnership. In September of 2021 64.1% of the Swiss population voted in favour of "marriage for all" in a referendum.

Access to sperm donation

In addition to marriage, homosexual couples in Switzerland will now also be able to adopt children, and female couples will get access to sperm donation.

Swiss Evangelical Network RES-SEA already stated their opposition to this legislation back in 2021. The network expressed its concern for the rights and well-being of children, reported Evangeliques.

Same-sex marriage in Swiss churches

Opinions about the new law differ within Swiss churches, depending on their region and denomination. Many factors apply. A lot of free churches in the countryside only support marriage between a man and a woman.

The Roman Catholic Church also opposes same-sex marriage. Marriage is a sacrament in this church. That means a covenant between one man and one woman, and also with God. This view can only be changed by the Vatican. Until that happens the Roman Catholic Church will only acknowledge traditional marriage in its official doctrines. However, Swiss Catholic pastors have been blessing homosexual couples in church services, risking their jobs by doing so. Even though it is against church doctrine “many a bishop in Switzerland knows very well what is happening in his parishes and deliberately looks the other way,” writes SRF.

Reformed churches bless gay marriage

Most of the reformed state churches of Switzerland will provide ecclesiastical marriages for same-sex couples. Before that, so-called "blessing services" for homosexual couples have been held in the reformed Zurich Regional Church since 1999. Blessing services have been around in a lot of reformed churches since then, according to SRF. The so-called “Christ Catholic Church of Switzerland”, a denomination that split of from the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th century, also allows homosexuals to marry.



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