Swiss lawmakers on Friday approved a
bill that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The legislation was first introduced in
The “Marriage for All” bill
received broad bipartisan support, even among the conservative Swiss
People's Party. The legislation's main sticking point was giving
lesbian couples access to sperm donations. The bill's final wording
includes this provision.
Switzerland has recognized gay couples
with registered partnerships since 2005. But marriage includes
additional rights, such as the joint adoption of children.
Opponents of the legislation have vowed
to put it up to a public vote. They have 100 days to gather 50,000
signatures to get it on the ballot.
Survey data shows the legislation is
likely to survive this challenge.
According to a survey commissioned
earlier this year by Pink Cross, an LGBT rights group, a large
majority of Swiss (80%) support same-sex marriage. Support is high
even among conservatives. Pollsters found 67 percent of respondents
who said that they are members of the Swiss People's Party in support
of equal marriage rights.