Switzerland agreed to legalise civil marriage and the right to adopt children for same-sex couples by a nearly two-thirds majority in a referendum on Sunday,.
According to results provided by the Swiss federal chancellery, 64.1 per cent of voters voted in favour of same-sex marriage in the nationwide referendum that was conducted under Switzerland's system of direct democracy.
The Swiss Evangelical Alliance commented on the vote on expressing its “sadness” over the result. They said the decision went “too far because it does not take the rights and wellbeing of children seriously enough...The desires of adults triumphed over the rights of children”.
The evangelical body added that it would be very “strong” in defending freedom of conscience when the debate about gay marriage is moved to the area of religious settings. “The legal definition of marriage does not force religious communities to adapt their rituals or sacraments”, the SEA said.
On the other side, Antonia Hauswirth of the national committee 'Marriage for All' said: "We are very happy and relieved."
Amnesty International said in a statement that opening civil marriage to same-sex couples was a "milestone for equality".
The amended law will make it possible for same-sex couples to get married, and to adopt children unrelated to them. Married lesbian couples will also be allowed to have children through sperm donation, currently legal only for married heterosexual couples.
It will also make it easier for foreign spouses of a Swiss individual to get citizenship.
Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter told a media briefing the new rules would likely come into force on 1st July next year.