In Switzerland, first same-sex couples say ‘I do’

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7/1/22

Alois Carnier, 57, and Peter Leu, 67, said “wholeheartedly, I do” to each other on Friday as same-sex marriages became legal in Switzerland. It is the first time two men have walked out of the civil registry in their town of Schaffhausen as husband and husband. Voters approved the “Marriage for All” initiative by a nearly two-thirds majority last September, making Switzerland one of the last countries in Western Europe to legalize same-sex marriage. “The ceremony was really very important to me because this has been 20 years in the making,” said Carnier, who entered into a registered partnership with Leu in 2014 and has been active in a decades-long campaign to recognize gay rights. Across the country in Geneva, Aline, 46, and Laure, 45, also tied the knot after being together for 21 years. They have a four-year-old son and, like Leu and Carnier, they had previously been in a civil partnership. “In every sense, this is a new stage (for us),” said Laure, a human resources specialist who like her partner declined to give her family name. “It was a very moving and much-awaited moment, which sends a strong message to society… to be free to love,” said Geneva Mayor Marie Barbey-Chappuis, who attended the ceremony.

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