A marriage equality law in Switzerland
that recently survived a public referendum will take effect on July
1, the government announced on Wednesday.
The government also announced that it
will recognize same-sex marriages from other countries on January 1.
Lawmakers approved the “Marriage for
All” bill last year but opponents of the legislation quickly
gathered the 50,000 signatures needed to get it on the ballot.
Swiss voters in September voted
overwhelmingly in favor of the bill.
Switzerland has recognized gay and
lesbian couples with registered partnerships since 2005. But marriage
includes additional rights, such as the joint adoption of children.
According to a survey commissioned last
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
The marriage bill was first introduced