Registered partnerships in Switzerland

In a nationwide referendum on 5 June 2005, the Swiss people approved by 58% a registered partnership law, granting same-sex couples the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples, except:

    - joint adoption of children

    - fertility treatments

    - facilitated Swiss naturalisation of the foreign partner to a Swiss citizen partner after 6 years of partnership abroad, unlike with a conventional marriage.

However, in terms of next of kin status, taxation, social security, insurance, and shared possession of a dwelling, same-sex couples are granted the same rights as married couples.

The official title of the same-sex union is "Eingetragene Partnerschaft" in German, "Partenariat enregistré" in French, "Associazione registrata" in Italian and "Partenadi Registrà" in Rumantsch Grischun meaning "registered partnership". The bill was passed by the National Council, 111 to 72, on 3 December 2003 and by the Council of States on 3 June 2004, with minor changes. The National Council approved it again on 10 June but the conservative Federal Democratic Union collected signatures to force a referendum. Subsequently the Swiss people voted on 5 June 2005 with 58% in favor of the bill. The law came into effect on 1 January 2007.

Same-sex marriages formed outside Switzerland will be recognised as registered partnerships within Switzerland. Switzerland was the first nation to pass a same-sex union law by referendum.

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