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Civil union in Switzerland

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Title: Civil union in Switzerland  
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Subject: Civil Partnership Act 2004
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Civil union in Switzerland

Legal recognition of
same-sex relationships


Not yet in effect

  1. Valid in all 31 states
  2. No statewide law governs same-sex marriage; counties issue under their own volition or court order
  3. If performed in the Netherlands
  4. For succession purposes; if perfomed in the United Kingdom
LGBT portal

Switzerland recognizes same-sex registered partnerships. In a nationwide referendum on June 5, 2005, the Swiss people approved by 58% a registered partnership law, granting same-sex couples the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples, except:

  • adoption of children
  • fertility treatments
  • facilitated Swiss naturalisation of the foreign partner to a Swiss citizen partner after 6 years of partnership abroad, unlike with a conventional marriage.

However, in terms of next of kin status, taxation, social security, insurance, and shared possession of a dwelling, same-sex couples are granted the same rights as married couples.

The official title of the same-sex union is "Eingetragene Partnerschaft" in German, "Partenariat enregistré" in French, "Associazione registrata" in Italian and "Partenadi Registrà" in Rumantsch Grischun meaning "registered partnership".[1] The bill was passed by the National Council, 111 to 72, on December 3, 2003 and by the Council of States on June 3, 2004, with minor changes.[2][3] The National Council approved it again on June 10, but the conservative Federal Democratic Union collected signatures to force a referendum.[4][5] Subsequently the Swiss people voted on the 5. June 2005 with 58% in favor of the bill. The law came into effect on January 1, 2007.[6]

Same-sex marriages formed outside Switzerland will be recognised as registered partnerships within Switzerland. Switzerland was the first nation to pass a same-sex union law by referendum.

Canton laws

The Canton of Geneva has had a law on cantonal level, "Registered Partnership" or "PACS" (Pacte civil de solidarité), since 2001. It grants unmarried couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, many rights, responsibilities and protections that married couples have. However, it does not allow benefits in taxation, social security, or health insurance premiums (unlike the federal law). The origin of the PACS lies in the French law of the same name.[7][8][9][10]

On September 22, 2002, the canton of Zurich passed a same-sex partnership law by referendum that goes further than Geneva's law, but requires couples to live together for six months before registering.[11]

In July 2004, the canton of Neuchâtel passed a law recognizing unmarried couples.[12][13]

Same-sex marriage

Discussions about allowing same-sex marriage are beginning in Switzerland and some politicians from the Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Liberals support it.

The Green Party of Switzerland supports same-sex marriage, according to its 2007 electoral manifesto.[14]

Public opinion

According to the Ifop poll, conducted in May 2013, 63% of Swiss supported allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.[15]

See also


External links

  • (German) Bundesgesetz über die eingetragene Partnerschaft gleichgeschlechtlicher Paare (Partnerschaftsgesetz, PartG)
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