Thousands of LGBTQ+ activists in Switzerland filled the streets in support of same-sex marriage on Saturday (4 September).
The Zurich Pride march was held in relation to the upcoming national referendum, which is set to take place on 26 September.
Public broadcaster SRF revealed that tens of thousands of people attended the event with many bringing signs that said: “You can do it. Marriage for everyone now.”
Under the current legislation, same-sex couples are only approved for civil unions, which does not grant the same rights as marriages.
If the new law passes, the definition in the Swiss Civil Code will be changed to “two people” versus “bride” and “groom.”
The bill will also simplify the sperm donation process for lesbian couples, make it easier for foreign partners to obtain Swiss citizenship and allow same-sex adoption.
Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands have already been introduced to the inclusive legislation.
Lawmakers first legalised same-sex marriage at the end of 2020 – after years of debate within the Swiss National council.
But shortly after its approval, conservative politicians rallied signatures for a national referendum.
At the time, Matthias Erhardt of the Rainbow Family Association accepted the potential challenge, stating: “If the opposition wants to start a referendum, we’re ready.”
He continued: “We have 82% of the population behind us and thanks to the mobilizing strength of the LGBT community, our partner organization, and political parties support us.
“We are going to increase the acceptance of LGBT people in society even more if there is a referendum campaign.”
Over the years, LGBTQ+ activists have put up a fight against conservative and harmful ideologies within the country.
In February 2020, Switzerland officials passed a law that banned LGBTQ+ discrimination.
Although acceptance has grown, many have pointed out that there is still more work to be done.
On the 2021 Rainbow Map, which ranks 49 European countries and their treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, Switzerland holds the 22nd spot.
Check out some photos from the Pride march below.
— Stephie Elms ⚧ 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈🧚♀️🇨🇭 (@OlmoStephie) September 4, 2021
— St3th @ 🏡 💉💉 (@St3thrich) September 4, 2021
— Sarah Genner, PhD (@sgenner) September 4, 2021