Gay marriage and adoption laws approved in Switzerland

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Nearly three quarters of Swiss citizens took part in the vote The Swiss have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new law allowing same-sex marriage. Almost two-thirds of voters …

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Nearly three quarters of Swiss citizens took part in the vote

The Swiss have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new law allowing same-sex marriage.

Almost two-thirds of voters agreed, according to initial results on the final day of campaigning.

Voters also backed a proposal to allow the same-sex couples to adopt children, by nearly three quarters.

Both are now law, and they will take effect on 1 January next year.

Nearly three quarters of Swiss citizens had taken part in the vote on whether to recognise same-sex marriage.

Campaigners for the “yes” vote urged voters to approve gay marriage as an “individual moral choice”.

“Marriage needs to be redefined so that all couples are equal,” campaigner Roger Schawinski told the BBC ahead of the vote.

“We have to support the people who chose a lifestyle, and not judge them.”

Pro-tiktik, a campaign group in support of traditional marriage, had argued a national vote could be used to “legislate morality”.

Commentators had raised concerns that the vote would affect the already patchy legality of gay marriage in Switzerland.

The Catholic Church still opposes same-sex marriage, although the country’s highest court has ruled that marriage can only be defined as heterosexual in canton Geneva, where most of the country’s Catholics live.

In 2016, the Vatican gave the Church a tight deadline to recognise same-sex unions.

However, since that announcement the Catholic Church has taken different positions, perhaps signalling that local churches in Switzerland will now have to conduct their own ceremonies.

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