Switzerland made news recently when its Swiss National Council voted in favor of a bill that includes several provisions designed to equalize the playing field for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples in the country.
First, this bill will make Switzerland the 29th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, something that was first brought to the upper house of Switzerland’s legislature in 2013.
Although the legislature has voted in favor of same-sex marriage, some Swiss citizens believe there could still be a national referendum against it. However, advocacy groups believe there is enough support behind same-sex marriage to overcome a referendum if one arises. Prior to the passage of this legislation, same-sex couples were able to register their partnerships but not benefit from the rights that married heterosexual Swiss couples enjoy.
Another provision of the recently passed bill will allow transgender people aged 16 and over to legally change their genders, without parental consent.
Last but not least, the new legislation includes a provision authorizing lesbian couples to use sperm banks in order to start or grow their families using assisted reproductive technologies. All of Switzerland’s main political parties were in favor of this provision, with the exception of two socially conservative parties, the Swiss People’s Party and the Christian Democratic People’s Party of Switzerland.
In the case of the Swiss People’s Party, the primary objection voiced was that allowing lesbians to access donated sperm would deprive children of relationships with their fathers.
As LGBTQ+ advocacy groups continue to grow in number and size, we will likely continue to see increased pressure on legislatures in countries around the world to revise long-standing laws which restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and couples.
The Surrogacy Law Center protects the legal rights of individuals and couples who use assisted reproductive technologies to grow their families. Contact us to learn more!