Same-sex couples will be able to wed in Switzerland starting July 1, 2022, the Swiss government announced Wednesday.
The announcement follows a referendum in September, when the country legalized same-sex marriage by nearly two-thirds of the vote. The bill legalizing same-sex marriage also allows same-sex couples to adopt, and for married lesbians and queer women to access sperm donors.
At the time of the bill’s passage, the government anticipated that it would go into effect in July 2022. Yesterday’s announcement has made this news official.
Reuters reports that the legalization process will take place in two steps. Same-sex couples married in other countries will be recognized in Switzerland starting in January of 2022. The first marriages will be performed within the country starting in July.
“We are really happy with the outcome of the vote — and that it is now being put into law,” Maria von Kaenel, the co-president of the Marriage for All campaign, said in a statement reported by Reuters. “We have been fighting for marriage equality for 30 years and the referendum result was a historic moment.”
Prior to September’s vote, an estimated 20,000 people took part in a combined protest and Pride march in the city of Zurich, in support of the same-sex marriage campaign, known as “Ja, ich will” (“Yes, I will.”)
Switzerland had been one of the few remaining countries in Western Europe where same-sex marriage had not been legalized. Same-sex couples had been allowed to enter into civil partnerships, which they can either maintain or convert into marriages on and after July 1.