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Swiss Reject Marriage Initiative

By a slim 51-49 percentage margin, voters in Switzerland have rejected a ballot initiative that would have ended tax penalties against married couples, some of whom pay higher taxes than cohabitating couples who file individually. The measure offered entitled “For marriage and family — against the marriage penalty” by the Christian Democratic Party included a provision that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It was on that basis and the fact that it would have made redefining marriage that opponents led a vigorous attack.

The Swiss Information Chanel reported, “Despite the loss in terms of the popular vote, proponents took comfort in the fact that their initiative had passed in most cantons (17 out of 26).”

Citing the gap between the views of the Church and society on marriage and the family, the president of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference said in a statement that the bishops “regretted” but were not surprised by the result.