European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

First ever national referendum on same-sex partnership rights in Switzerland

On 5 June 2005, a referendum on partnership rights for same-sex partners is taking place in Switzerland.
6 June 2005 update - 58% of Swiss electorate voted 'Yes'!

This is the first time in European and world history that a whole nation is being asked to express approval for the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships rights.

The law recognising same-sex partnerships and granting registered same-sex partners many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage came into force last summer. However the Federal Democratic Union, a conservative religious party, succeeded in collecting enough signatures to initiate a national referendum to challenge this law.

Swiss activists organised a nation-wide ‘Yes to Partnership’ campaign to support partnership rights and hope that Switzerland will overwhelmingly approve the partnership law. Public opinion polls during three months prior to the referendum suggest that the ‘Yes to Partnership’ campaign will win with a majority of 60%.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe said: “We hope this significant and historic event will confirm that Switzerland is truly a democratic and inclusive nation. Same-sex registered partnership is legal in Switzerland since last summer and now the nation has a chance not only to support legal equality for same-sex partners, but also to express their approval for diversity and inclusion. We wish the ‘Yes to Partnership’ campaign a big success tomorrow!”

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For more information please contact Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe works for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender equality at European level.

(2) More information about ‘Yes’ campaign in support of partnership rights for same-sex couples in Switzerland: www.partnerschaft-ja.ch(3) List of European countries and how they recognise same-sex marriage, partnership and cohabitation available on our website: www.ilga-europe.org > Same-sex marriage & partnerships in Europe