GENEVA — Switzerland’s executive body says same-sex couples will be able to get married in the rich Alpine nation starting on July 1 next year.
In setting the date on Wednesday, the Federal Council made good on the resounding support Swiss voters expressed for same-sex marriage in a September referendum.
Voters passed the "Marriage for All" referendum by nearly a two-thirds margin in September, Reuters reports.
“We are really happy with the outcome of the vote, and that it is now being put into law," Maria von Kaenel, co-president of the Marriage for All campaign, told Reuters on Wednesday. "We have been fighting for marriage equality for 30 years and the referendum result was a historic moment."
The council also said that starting Jan. 1, Switzerland will recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who wed in other countries instead of continuing to treat the unions as simple civil partnerships.
Switzerland is one of the few remaining countries in Western Europe where gay and lesbian couples do not already have the right to wed.