Projections showed 64% of voters had voted in favor of same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum conducted under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy. A final result is expected later in the day.
“We are very happy and relieved,” said Antonia Hauswirth of the national committee “Marriage for All,” adding supporters would celebrate in Switzerland’s capital Bern on Sunday.
Amnesty International said in a statement that opening civil marriage to same-sex couples was a “milestone for equality.”
However, Monika Rueegger of Switzerland’s right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and member of the referendum committee “No to Marriage for All” said she was disappointed.
“This was not about love and feelings, it was about children’s welfare. Children and fathers are the losers here,” she told Reuters.
The federal government and parliament have already approved the amended law, but opponents led by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) forced a referendum on the issue under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy.
The amended law will make it possible for same-sex couples to get married, and to adopt children unrelated to them. Married lesbian couples would also be allowed to have children through sperm donation, currently legal only for married heterosexual couples.
It will also make it easier for foreign spouses of a Swiss individual to get citizenship.