LGBT rights in Switzerland

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LGBT rights in Switzerland
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Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1942
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
Registered partnerships since 2007,
no same-sex marriage
Adoption No joint adoption by same-sex couples
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protection in labor code since 2001 (see below)

Homosexuality is legal in Switzerland and widely tolerated in Swiss society. Gay couples may enter into legally recognized registered partnerships, although they may not marry or jointly adopt children.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Registered partnerships have been recognized since 1 January 2007. The provision grants same-sex couples most rights as in heterosexual marriages. The Canton of Zurich, for example, has registered 702 couples as of 2008.[1]

Adoption issues

Single gay persons may adopt. There is no support for adoption of children by same-sex couples in this area of the law in Switzerland, although revision of the law following a decision by the European Court of Justice on a case in France may be reached.[2]

Discrimination protections

Laws against discrimination on sexual orientation are in effect. In a national referendum on 17 May 1992, 73% of the voters accepted the reform of Swiss Federal legislation on sexual offences, including the elimination of all discrimination against homosexuality from the Penal Code.

Living conditions

Although some personal attitudes may change slower than the laws, the general public is tolerant of LGBT people and thus bias motivated violence or discrimination is all but unheard of. A vibrant LGBT community exists in Geneva, Zürich, Basel and Lausanne.

See also


  1. Kein Run aufs Standesamt (German), (accessed November 01. 2009)
  2. Adoptionsrecht wieder im Fokus (German)


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