The Swiss vote yes to same-sex relationships and "Schengen/Dublin"

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Sunday, June 5, 2005

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The Swiss people have voted a double yes in referenda to the proposals over same-sex partnerships and the Schengen/Dublin bilateral agreements. Overall they voted 58.03% for the same-sex partnerships and 54.60% for Schengen/Dublin.

The referendum of allowing the registration of same-sex partnerships was widely welcomed with the people voting 58.03% Yes and 41.97% No. Same-sex partnerships are already legal in the cantons of Geneva and Zürich. The partnerships would carry many of the legal rights of marriage, with the exception of adoption rights and fertility treatments.

The referendum of the Schengen/Dublin bilateral agreement was initially accepted, despite growing resentment with the electorate. It was passed through with the people voting 54.60% Yes and 45.40% No. The agreement relaxes existing border controls between other participating nations in concert with the Schengen treaty, which is one of the competences for inclusion in the European Union.

The bilateral agreement also includes participation in the Dublin treaty, which defines a policy for handling asylum seekers within Schengen participating countries. Also stipulated by the agreements is the use of a unified "European Informatic System" for tracking people who are wanted, missing, or are illegal immigrants and also aims to stop traffic of illegal or stolen property.

Out of the big 4 main parties the centre-left Social Democrats, the liberal-right Free Democrats and the centre-right Christian Democrats have said yes to both proposals, however the populist-right Swiss People's Party have said no to both proposals.

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