Swiss Gov't Approves Civil Unions Bill
by Malcolm Thornberry, 365Gay.com from the Web, June 10, 2004
Geneva -- The Swiss Parliament on Thursday passed legislation allowing same-sex couples to register their partnerships.
The new law will provides for pension and inheritance rights but does not allow gay couples to adopt children or undergo invitro fertilization.
While it is one of the most restrictive civil union laws in Europe it met with strong opposition in Parliament from a small religious conservative party.
The Federal Democratic Union said Parliament should not be supporting alternative lifestyles, adding that it was confident it could collect enough signatures to force a nationwide referendum.
Jean-Paul Guisan, the spokesperson for the gay rights group, Pink Cross, said it is prepared to fight to preserve the law.
Guisan said he would like to have seen adoption included in the law but believed that the government did the best it could.
"We needed this to pass in its current form. If we had said 'it's marriage or nothing', we would have got nothing. We need to proceed carefully, and we are so glad to have this much."
Guisan said that he hoped one day in the not too distant future gay couples in Switzerland will receive full marriage rights.