GENEVA Switzerland voted in favor of allowing same-sex couples in a referendum that took place on Sunday. This brought the Alpine nation in line with other western European nations.
Official results indicated that the measure was approved by 64.1% of voters and won majority support in all 26 cantons or states of Switzerland.
The Marriage for All initiative was supported by the Swiss parliament and the Federal Council. Since 2007, Switzerland has allowed same-sex civil partnerships.
Passage would allow same-sex couples to adopt children together, and facilitate citizenship for the same-sex spouses. Supporters claimed that this would place same-sex couples on an equal legal footing as heterosexual couples. It would allow lesbian couples to use regulated sperm donor.
Opponents argue that replacing civil partnerships by full marriage rights would weaken families based on one man and one girl forming a union.
On Sunday, Anna Leimgruber, a voter in Geneva, said that she voted for the no camp because it was her belief that children should have a father and a mother.
Nicolas Dzierlatka voted for yes but said that children need love.
He said that children need to feel loved and respected.
There have been many allegations about unfair tactics in the campaign. The opposing sides denounced the removal of posters, LGBT hotlines being flooded with complaints and hostile emails. They also decried the shouting insults directed at campaigners and attempts to silence other views.
Switzerland has a population estimated at 8.5 million. It is conservative in nature and granted the right to vote to its women only in 1990.
While most countries of Western Europe recognize same-sex marriage, many in Central and Eastern Europe don't allow for wedlock between two or more men.
According to supporters, it could take months for same-sex couples to get married due to administrative and legislative requirements.
On Sunday, voters rejected a proposal by left-wing groups to increase taxes on investment returns and capital like dividends and income from rental properties in Switzerland to ensure fair taxation and better redistribution.
The results showed that 64.9% voted against the bill in a country well-known for its vibrant financial system and low taxes and as a haven to many of the richest people in the world. The vote was not supported by any canton.
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