Swiss propose gay rights law

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com December 03 2002 12:00 AM ET

Swiss same-sex couples would enjoy civil recognition the same way married couples do nationwide under a law proposed Friday by the governing cabinet in Switzerland. Gay rights groups welcomed the proposal to extend rights already exercised in major cities like Zurich and Geneva, saying they hope parliament will remove any "blemishes"--such as lack of adoption rights--when lawmakers take up the issue next year.

"The picture of same-sex couples hugging and kissing on the street should become normal," said justice minister Ruth Metzler in announcing the seven-member cabinet's proposal. She said she regards the proposal as "a day of tolerance and a step toward a modern and open Switzerland." The law would give same-sex couples the same rights of inheritance and social security enjoyed by traditional married couples.