Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 6 June 2005

Switzerland approves referendum on gay partnership rights!

Switzerland approved on Sunday a referendum, called by right-wing religious interests, by deciding to authorise gay partnership rights; this link is to the Un swissroll blog, which is written in French, but the author of this article, Francois Brutsch, was invited by Norman Geras at normblog to post a similar article in English as a guest-blogger on his blog - you can read it here. The law had been approved by the Swiss Parliament in June 2004, but Switzerland's citizens are able to call referenda on all manner of subjects and this is what happened with this one.

Francois Brutsch and his colleague on Un swissroll, Guillaume Barry, have a number of other interesting posts in the last few days dealing with this issue (all in French, of course) here and here - the latter is the post by Guillaume Barry and in that, as well as talking about the gay partnership rights referendum, also refers to another referendum conducted on the same day by which Swiss voters approved Switzerland's adhesion to both the Schengen and Dublin agreements. This is very significant as it opens Switzerland's borders to the Schengen passport-free zone; Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU, had declined to join the European Economic Area in 1992 - the BBC has a concise article on both referenda here.

Note - although I would undoubtedly have come across Francois Brutsch's articles at Un swissroll later this evening, I need to record the fact that I was alerted a little sooner than I otherwise would have been to what had happened yesterday in Switzerland by a timely post by the ever-excellent BoiFromTroy here.

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