Swiss approve same-sex marriage by wide margin in referendum

Switzerland Same Sex Marriage

GENEVA (AP) — Cheers rang out, hugs were exchanged and rainbow-colored flags waved overhead across Switzerland as the Swiss resoundingly voted to allow same-sex couples to marry, final results of a nationwide referendum showed Sunday.

Official results showed the measure passed with 64.1% of the vote while more than half of all voters approved in each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, or states. The vote - years in the making - is set to bring the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe and wraps up an often tense campaign between rival sides.

Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter tweeted that the government will implement the decision quickly and, under current plans, the new rules can take effect on July 1.

Switzerland’s parliament and the governing Federal Council — on which she sits — had supported the “Marriage for All” measure, which marks a key step for gr