The law was approved by an almost two-thirds majority of voters in a referendum last September, although participation in the vote was not very high, according to Swiss media.
Since 2007, same-sex couples have been able to enter into a registered partnership in Switzerland, however, marriage will bring them new rights. For example, they will be able to adopt a child, and if one spouse is a foreign national, they will be able to acquire Swiss citizenship more quickly; same-sex female couples will also have greater access to artificial insemination.
That is why Lucille and Pauline Bidaux-Meyer decided to get married on Friday, telling Swissinfo.ch, “Marriage represents more security for our family.”
The law additionally means they do not have to go abroad to undergo artificial insemination. “The procedure may be more expensive in Switzerland, but on the other hand, we will not have to travel abroad often and sometimes for a long time,” the pair told the Swiss news outlet.
Interest in gay marriage has been low so far
One of the first homosexual couples were married on Friday by the mayor of Geneva, Marie Barbey-Chappuis, who supports the new law.
“It’s very moving. It’s a very powerful moment that sends an equally powerful message to society — to have the freedom to love and be loved,” the mayor said.
Ilan and Adrien, who have been living in a registered partnership since 2019, also got married on Friday.
“We wanted to get married today, when the law comes into force, to express our appreciation to all those who have tried to enforce this right,” one of the newlyweds told Swissinfo.ch. Adrien also welcomed the new law because he claims registered partnerships are stigmatizing.
“When I stated somewhere that I was living in a registered partnership, I automatically said that I was living with a man, and I didn’t always want this,” he said.
According to the RTS broadcaster, however, the interest in getting married is not very high. In the canton of Geneva, where about half a million people live, 40 gay couples have expressed their desire to get married by the end of the year, and about another 40 couples want to convert their registered partnership into a marriage.