The Swiss parliament on Friday approved the bill allowing marriage for same-sex couples, several years after many other Western European countries.
The Swiss should have the last word, however, because the party of the Federal Democratic Union (UDF), a small group that defends Christian values, has already announced that it will launch a referendum.
Civil marriage for all has so far been adopted by both chambers of parliament after several years of procedure, the initial draft having been tabled by the Green Liberal Group in 2013.
The adopted text allows homosexuals and lesbians to unite and for the latter to have access to sperm donation, one of the most controversial points.
Until now, same-sex couples could enter into “registered partnerships” that did not give them the same rights as a marriage.
“This is a historic victory for the rights of the LGBTIQ community,” Amnesty Switzerland said in a tweet.
The Famille Arc-en-ciel association, founded in 2010 to defend the interests of homoparental families in Switzerland, has for its part already indicated that it is “preparing for the referendum announced” by the UDF.
“If the opponents launch a referendum, we are ready”, declared Matthias Erhardt, vice-president of the national committee created for the referendum at the beginning of December.
“We have 82% of the population behind us and thanks to the mobilizing force of the LGBT community, our partner organizations and the political parties that support us, we will be able to further increase the acceptance of LGBT people in society thanks to this voting campaign, ”he said.