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Yes, I do: the time for equality is here

September 8, 2021, No comments

I cannot get married in Switzerland. At least, not to my boyfriend. But hopefully, that is about to change. On 26 September voters will decide on the fate of the ‘Marriage for all‘ law. At the moment the polls look good for a Yes result but we can’t be sure until every vote is counted.

The law was passed by both houses of Federal Parliament in December 2020 after seven years of debate and compromise. Immediately (and as expected) right-wing and Christian groups collected signatures to contest the new law. The end result of that is the vote on 26 September.

In 2005, Switzerland was the first country in the world to sanction same-sex civil partnerships via a referendum, rather than in parliament or the courts. But a civil partnership does not have the same rights as marriage. It’s like being told you’re a second-class citizen. It’s not equality.

Since that historic Swiss moment, the rest of the world has moved on, with equal marriage now possible in most of western Europe. Even the US Supreme Court made it possible in 2015. And gay and lesbian couples in Switzerland were left behind. Not any more.

Not everyone wants to get married but everyone should be able to. That’s what equality means: being treated the same under the law. The No campaign has trotted out all the old objections about it being unnatural, or damaging children, or against the will of God. Stuff and nonsense.

So it’s time Switzerland. Time to join the 21st century. Time to end inequality.

Time to say: yes, I do.

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