Same-sex marriage legalized in Switzerland!

On December 18, 2020, the National Council of Switzerland voted 118-60 to legalize same-sex marriage and authorize transgender people to legally change their gender identity. These laws help promote equality for the LGBT+ community by imposing criminal penalties against those who display homophobic or transphobic actions toward LGBT+ people, the same punishment for demonstrating racism against others. These charges may result in a three-year jail term.

Marriage For All, a campaign group, makes this statement on its website: “This is not only a milestone in the fight for the rights of the Swiss LGBT population but also an important victory for their dignity, their acceptance and their inclusion in society.”

Other parts of western Europe are ahead of Switzerland regarding LGBT+ rights, with political institutions tending to be more conservative than the public. In addition to marriage equality, the legislation approved identity rights for transgender people.

With the legislation approved by parliament on Friday, trans people can finally change their gender identity by applying at civil registry offices. Switzerland will be the eighth European country to allow trans people to legally change their gender without requiring approval from a doctor or a court. This process is known as “Self-ID,” according to a transgender advocacy group in Europe.

The minimum age to legally change one’s gender without parental consent was 16 years, but trans rights advocates disagreed. Currently, medical treatments about gender transitioning do not require parents’ permission for patients under 16 years of age.

Alecs Recher, head of an advocacy group named Transgender Network Switzerland stated, “On the one hand, we’re super happy there will be this legal gender recognition based on self-determination, in a very quick and simple procedure. But, on the other hand, it’s a major step back for those under 16.”

The current laws require both children and adults to apply at a court to change gender, Recher added. Transgender Network Switzerland supports trans people through legal procedures, which costs up to 1,000 Swiss Francs ($1,130).

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