Switzerland Looks Set To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage In Historic Act
Switzerland looks set to back same-sex marriage in a national referendum on November 28th. Here are five reasons why you should join us and vote yes.
Same-sex marriage is legal in many countries, but not all. In Switzerland, the Swiss people will vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in a national referendum on November 28. The yes camp is leading in the polls and this will be the first time that a country has voted on legalizing same-sex marriage at a nationwide level. This would be a huge milestone for LGBT rights in Europe and around the world. Here, are some reasons why you should join us and vote yes on November 28th.
Why the Swiss vote matters
Take a look at the graphic above. It is quite telling when you see that only four countries in the world – New Zealand, Uruguay, the Netherlands and Canada – permit same-sex couples to marry. Many of them only recently legalized same-sex marriage. Many people don’t know this, but Switzerland is one of the first countries in Europe that gave women the right to vote. When it was established as a republic in 1848, it was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote, that many countries didn’t recognize until decades later. In Switzerland, same-sex marriage would take this hard fought-for right one step further. And the Swiss don’t take these rights for granted.
The Swiss Way of Voting
The Swiss are often dubbed the “most direct democracy” in the world because of their direct democracy process where the people get to vote on every major political issue. But there is a small catch: it’s not a vote at all. The Swiss people are polled with the slogan “yes, but”, meaning that if they don’t like the outcome they can say “no, but…” and suggest something else. But then they have to accept what is put forward by the government. The main aim of this “but” is to ensure the voice of the people is heard, but the government is also free to go ahead with whatever they feel will be most beneficial. This is part of what is known as “structural democracy”, a very rare phenomenon in developed countries.
In Ireland, referendum for same-sex marriage passed in 2015. Here, this vote is seen as a turning point for gay rights in the country. Despite being one of the most conservative countries in Europe, Ireland is one of the few countries in which same-sex marriage has been legal. This is a testament to the power of campaigning and hope that such a concept can be popularised across a majority Catholic country. The Irish public voted yes on the first time, but the government said that it wasn’t viable at the time. But the people refused to give up. They persisted and were eventually told that they could indeed have their say on the issue, as a referendum was allowed. This paved the way for marriage equality in Ireland.
This is an important moment for same-sex marriage, and for LGBT rights as a whole. For centuries, people have fought to see same-sex marriages recognized, and for many years this movement has been led by activists, not politicians. However, in recent years, various governments in Europe and around the world have started to legalize same-sex marriage, proving that it is an issue that the people want to see fixed. This is an important moment, not just for Swiss gay couples, but for everyone, because it will be the first time that we will be able to vote on such a crucial issue. If the yes camp wins on November 28, it will be a huge step forward for LGBT rights in Europe and around the world, and it will be a huge step towards world equality.