Same-sex marriage referendum approved by wide margin in Switzerland

Switzerland has become one of the last Western European countries to make same-sex marriage legal, Reuters reported.

A nearly two-thirds majority, or 64 percent of the country, approved the measure in a referendum, which was conducted under the nation's direct democracy, Reuters reported.

The new legislation would legalize same-sex marriage and gives same-sex couples the right to adopt children. Reuters reported that lesbian couples will be allowed to have children through sperm donations, which had only been legal for heterosexual couples.

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The new law will also allow foreign spouses of Swiss residents to apply for citizenship. 

In a statement, Amnesty International said that the new law is a "milestone for equality," Reuters reported. 

This comes as Switzerland's right-wing Swiss People's Party member Monika Rueegger shared her disappointment with the passing of the new law. 

"This was not about love and feelings, it was about children's welfare. Children and fathers are the losers here," Rueegger, a member of the referendum committee, told Reuters. 

Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter told media that the new law will go into effect July 1, 2022, Reuters noted.