Tens of thousands marched through the streets in Switzerland over the weekend to show their support for legalising same-sex marriage, reports NBC News. The protests came ahead of a national referendum being held on 26 September to determine whether same-sex marriage will be legalised in the European nation.
Despite being ranked second in the Human Freedom Index; a measure of human freedom based on personal, civil and economic criteria, Switzerland currently only allows for civil unions among same-sex couples. If a majority vote for the legalisation of same-sex marriage, same-sex couples would be granted the same rights as heterosexual couples. This would include allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, have greater access to sperm donations and easier processes for foreign partners to be granted Swiss visas and citizenship.
The protest took place during Zurich’s annual Pride march, with the theme of this year’s march being, “You can do it. Marriage for everyone now.”
According to recent polling by Swiss LGBTQIA+ equality rights group Pink Cross, 82% of the Swiss population supports same-sex marriage.
Switzerland’s movement towards marriage equality comes in stark contrast to neighbouring European countries such as Poland and Hungary, who have taken vocal and hardline stances against the rights of LGBTQIA+ community in recent months.