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Leap of faith Protestant church supports same-sex marriage

Two wedding rings on rainbow coulour sheet

Switzerland's Protestant Churches are seen as more progressive than the Catholic counterpart on issues like gay marriage.  

(Keystone/Ralf Hirschberger)

Switzerland’s Protestant Churches have come out in favour of a proposal to give a legal basis to same-sex marriages.

A clear majority of delegates approved a recommendation by the Protestant church leadership during a nationwide assembly on Tuesday.

However, the delegates decided to leave it up to pastors of the member churches whether they want to allow gay marriages based on church law.

The move followed controversial debates about the position of the Protestant Churches, amid opposition by more conservative groups.

“The assembly of delegates has made a point to stress that different notions of marriage remain possible in the Protestant Church,” a statementexternal link says.

The Protestant Churches have a federalist structure and are one of the leading churches in Switzerland.

The other main religious denomination in Switzerland, the Roman Catholic Church, has so far refused to take a clear stance on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Moves are underway in parliament to give legal basis to same-sex marriage. The House of Representatives is due to discuss a bill next year.

Most political parties have come out in favour, except for the right-wing Swiss People’s Party and the centrist Protestant Party.

The bill does not include the issue of adoption or reproductive medicine.

Civil rights Switzerland marks ten years of same-sex civil unions

Gay and lesbian couples have been able to have their civil union officially recognised in Switzerland since 2007.

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