Jan 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Switzerland became one of the last Western European nations to legalize same-sex marriage in 2021, it made waves next door in the tiny Alpine country of Liechtenstein. Two days after the Swiss vote, lawmakers signaled near-unanimous support for same-sex marriage during a parliamentary session in the principality, one of several European microstates that trail their neighbors on LGBT+ equality laws. This year, the nation of fewer than 40,000 people is also due to host its first Pride event. “I guess it’s always been like this; we’ve always waited for bigger countries to take the initiative,” Stefan Marxer, a board member at Liechtenstein’s only LGBT+ group, Flay, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Catholicism is the official religion in the principality, which advocacy group ILGA-Europe rates 40th of 49 observed European countries when it comes to legal protections for LGBT+ people, just behind Romania and Ukraine.