On September 26th, 2021, Switzerland voted to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming one of the last countries in western Europe to do so.
Nine months after the vote, the “marriage for all” law will enter into force as of July 1st, 2022, the Federal Council announced.
From this date on, gay couples will be able to marry, though the preparatory procedure for marriage can be started before this date.
Same-sex couples will also be able to convert their registered partnership into marriage: a simple joint declaration to a civil status officer will suffice to convert a current partnership.
This law will be enacted after 64 percent of Swiss voters backed the move in a September 26th nationwide referendum.
Switzerland decriminalised homosexuality in 1942, but numerous local and regional police forces continued to keep “gay registers”, some into the early 1990s.
Same-sex couples can already register a civil partnership, with around 700 established each year.
However, this status does not provide the same rights as marriage, including for obtaining citizenship and the joint adoption of children.
After years of debate and discussion, the Swiss parliament approved a bill last December allowing same-sex couples to marry in the country of 8.6 million people.
But it was challenged under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, with opponents gathering the 50,000 signatures needed to put the issue to a referendum.