Switzerland Gets With The Times Of Several Years Ago, Votes To Legalize Same Sex Marriage

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Here in America, we are so used to Europe being so extremely far ahead of us socially and economically that we sometimes forget that not every country is ideal in all areas. For instance! Ireland like, just legalized abortion a few years ago, and Switzerland is now just getting around to legalizing same sex-marriage.

Although the country has had "civil unions" since 2007, they did not confer all of the same rights as "marriage." Specifically, they did not allow couples to adopt, allow lesbians access to sperm banks, and will make it just as easy for their partners to become Swiss citizens as it is for heterosexual couples.

The government actually approved legislation to make same-sex marriage legal last year, but anti-LGBTQ bigots collected enough signatures to push for a voter referendum. Alas, they failed — 64 percent of voters voted in favor of legalization. It's not a great percentage, but it's a majority. It's also likely to improve, once weirdos realize that their own marriages don't suddenly feel less special. We've hit 70 percent approval this year, which is an all time high for us.

Via New York Times:

"It is clearly discrimination based on sexual orientation," said Maria von Känel, who is a president of the committee leading the "yes" campaign and is herself in a same-sex partnership with two children.

"Everyone should be treated equally," she said. [...]

Despite the changes to the marriage law, Ms. von Känel said there were still a few important points that it did not take into account, such as if both parents would be entitled to parental leave, including in situations where couples undergo reproductive assistance or fertility treatment abroad.

She noted that there was also a lot of work to be done to increase the rights and social acceptance of L.G.B.T.Q. people in Switzerland. This includes creating safe learning environments for L.G.B.T.Q. youth and banning conversion therapy, Ms. von Känel said.

Now there is only one country in Europe that has only civil unions ... and that's Italy. I find this embarrassing, but not surprising, because Catholicism and machismo.

Switzerland has traditionally been a little behind the times, socially, compared to the rest of Europe. The New York Times notes that they "did not grant women the right to vote until 1971 and until 1985 required wives to get permission from their husbands to work outside the home." And of course there was that whole thing with the Nazi bank accounts, which was not great. Far-right extremism has become a pretty serious problem as well.

One article describing Switzerland as not particularly liberal notes that new parents have only 14 weeks of maternity leave. Of course, in the US we have zero weeks of parental leave, so I guess we don't get to judge that.

Still, this is a great day for same-sex couples in Switzerland. Let us celebrate with yodeling

Melanie Oesch - The Queen Of Yodeling www.youtube.com

And more yodeling!

Yodelling - Franzl Lang www.youtube.com

And also this scene from Heidi!

Shirley Temple In Our Little Wooden Shoes From Heidi 1937 www.youtube.com

Now go eat some chocolate!

You may now open thread until Stephen and I come back with our wonderful live weekend show!

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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