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  #21  
Old 23.01.2015, 02:27
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Does anyone know if when we call the Cantonal Migration Office there will be someone available who can speak to us in English? Neither one of us speaks German so I'm wondering what the best way to contact them is? Thanks again.
You will get further if you can find someone that will speak German on your behalf. If you need something specific I can have a Swiss german friend inquire for you. Send me a pm if you like.
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  #22  
Old 23.01.2015, 22:31
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Yes.

Tom


No, you and your partner cannot get married here.
In Switzerland, same-sex couples cannot get married at all. Under Swiss law, you cannot become his husband and he cannot be your husband. In Switzerland, two men, or two women may only enter into a registered partnership, which is not the same thing (fewer rights and privileges) as marriage.


Here is a Gay Rights Organisation, which offers legal advice for all sorts of same-sex issued, and here the link to their page (in German) about partners from abroad, and the contact details for advice.
http://www.pinkcross.ch/de/beratung/...dische-partner
I imagine that if you write to them, even if they don't ordinarily speak English, they may well find someone who can speak to you (make an appointment) to give you solid legal advice (in English).

Here are their membership fees, in case you decide to join:
http://www.pinkcross.ch/de/aktiv/bei...trittsformular
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  #23  
Old 23.01.2015, 23:02
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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No, you and your partner cannot get married here.
In Switzerland, same-sex couples cannot get married at all. Under Swiss law, you cannot become his husband and he cannot be your husband. In Switzerland, two men, or two women may only enter into a registered partnership, which is not the same thing (fewer rights and privileges) as marriage.


Here is a Gay Rights Organisation, which offers legal advice for all sorts of same-sex issued, and here the link to their page (in German) about partners from abroad, and the contact details for advice.
http://www.pinkcross.ch/de/beratung/...dische-partner
I imagine that if you write to them, even if they don't ordinarily speak English, they may well find someone who can speak to you (make an appointment) to give you solid legal advice (in English).

Here are their membership fees, in case you decide to join:
http://www.pinkcross.ch/de/aktiv/bei...trittsformular
I disagree - the PartG is precisely the tool for same-sex partners to enter a legal union. "Marriage" in a colloquial sense can mean legal union between same-sex as well as opposite-sex partners IMO, because nowadays many people who say "we're married" don't mean that their legal union consists of a man and a woman.

Legal union - "marriage" - with same-sex partners - Eingetragene Partnerschaft - PartG
Legal union - "marriage" - with opposite-sex partners - Ehe - ZGB (Civil Code)
Marriage in the Swiss legal sense - Eheschliessung - legal union of man and woman

So it depends on the context in which one is using the word "marriage" to be able to determine if they mean same-sex or opposite-sex legal unions.

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The key word here is 'marriage'.

Same sex 'marriage' is not recognized as marriage (Eheschliessung) here, but as a 'civil partnership' (Eingetragene Partnerschaft).

On the flip side, non-same sex 'civil partnership' is not recognized here, either. - Sure about that?

Tom
OP, here's the PartG which regulates same-sex unions in CH.

Unfortunately, there's no English translation. Do you have a German-speaking friend who could translate relevant articles for you?

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Would we be allowed to get married again in CH even though we are Non-EU?
As there are many requirements and obstacles in a specific procedure regarding this issue, please get help and info from the relevant authorities and make sure you have a German-speaking person who can help you understand and clarify things 100%.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 23.01.2015 at 23:56.
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  #24  
Old 24.01.2015, 04:05
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Yes, glowjupiter, you are right that, colloquially, many people (heterosexual or homosexual) speak of "my husband" or "my wife" when they are not, in fact, bound in a marriage by law. And for everyday life, that's also fine, since it makes emotional sense. Legally, however, it is a different matter. Gay people in Switzerland are excluded from getting married - at least in the sense of the law - even when they form a bond of the same scope and significance as a heterosexual couple can do. Only a heterosexual couple can affirm their relationship by getting married. The same-sex couple has merely the lesser option of civil partnership. And it is lesser.

Here is the Swiss government website, setting out that "marriage" and "civil partnership" do not confer the same rights.
https://www.ch.ch/en/consequences-re...d-partnership/

For example:
•Unlike marriage, being in a registered partnership does not facilitate naturalisation for the foreign partner of a Swiss national.
and
•Two people who live in a registered partnership are not allowed to adopt or have children by artificial insemination.

This latter applies to adoption even of the biological children of the same-sex partner, as a heterosexual step-parent is able to do. That child can have no legal connection to his/her step-parent, a gap that can result in dramatic disadvantages, expecially if the biological parent dies.


See also:
http://www.gaylawnet.com/laws/ch.htm

Last edited by doropfiz; 24.01.2015 at 04:14. Reason: adding a link
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  #25  
Old 24.01.2015, 08:12
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

It is likely that there is someone at the Migration Office who can speak English, as they deal with migrants from all over the world, and of course some migrants do not speak German. I was there last year related to my B Visa (I am a Kiwi and my partner is German) and I was asked if I wanted to speak German or English.
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Old 27.01.2015, 22:27
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

Hi everyone,

I want to provide an update on the current situation. My partner and I were able to contact the Migration office in Zurich and what we had been told by his employer was confirmed – the office keeps a list of states it will recognize same-sex unions from and Illinois is not on the list. They informed us that they update the list from time to time and cannot tell us when the list will be updated again. If we apply for family reunification, it will be denied. I have reached out to the Pink Cross seeking legal advice. I am sympathetic to the fact that the list of states legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States is growing on a monthly basis, and neither my husband nor I are citizens of Switzerland meaning any rights we do receive as a family are granted out of the goodwill of the Swiss Government. However, after the upcoming Supreme Court ruling in June, there will undoubtedly be more couples in our situation and we are both hoping it will not take long after to recognize all same-sex marriages performed in the U.S. It concerns us that after we informed the Migration Office that Illinois was missing from the list there wasn’t any interest in updating the list. (Illinois legalized same-sex marriage 7 months ago).

Once again, thank you to everyone here that has commented and steered us in the direction of the Office of Migration and the Pink Cross.
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  #27  
Old 27.01.2015, 23:19
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Yes, glowjupiter, you are right that, colloquially, many people (heterosexual or homosexual) speak of "my husband" or "my wife" when they are not, in fact, bound in a marriage by law. And for everyday life, that's also fine, since it makes emotional sense. Legally, however, it is a different matter. Gay people in Switzerland are excluded from getting married - at least in the sense of the law - even when they form a bond of the same scope and significance as a heterosexual couple can do. Only a heterosexual couple can affirm their relationship by getting married. The same-sex couple has merely the lesser option of civil partnership. And it is lesser.

Here is the Swiss government website, setting out that "marriage" and "civil partnership" do not confer the same rights.
https://www.ch.ch/en/consequences-re...d-partnership/

For example:
•Unlike marriage, being in a registered partnership does not facilitate naturalisation for the foreign partner of a Swiss national.
and
•Two people who live in a registered partnership are not allowed to adopt or have children by artificial insemination.

This latter applies to adoption even of the biological children of the same-sex partner, as a heterosexual step-parent is able to do. That child can have no legal connection to his/her step-parent, a gap that can result in dramatic disadvantages, expecially if the biological parent dies.


See also:
http://www.gaylawnet.com/laws/ch.htm
I think both of you and glowjupiter are right.

Of course marriage and registered partenship are two completely different things. One is defined in the civil code and the other is a separate law (Loi sur le partenariat, LPart). Legally speaking the term "marriage" of course only includes the marriage.

But we have to know that partnership in Switzerland is perhaps the one which is most closest to marriage in a PRACTICAL view. It grants almost the same rights as marriage, with only three exceptions (that you already mentioned): joint adoption, fertility treatments and facilitated natualization. In all other fields (e.g. next of kin, social security...) partnership is treated exactly the same as marriage.

Because partnership is introduced by a separate ordinary law, other laws that grants some rights to marriage were also changed in the same time to include partnership. For example one thing which is important for OP is the Foreign national act (Loi fédérale sur les étrangers, LEtr), which does not make any differentiation between marriage and same-sex partnership, which means that in all affairs regarding residence, permits... there is exactly no difference.

Back in real life, I never say I am the "husband" of my OH. I always say I am his "conjoint". And in all cases (banks, government, tax, hospitals when my OH was under a major operation, funeral when my mother-in-law died......) I do not see I am treated any differently than a married husband or wife, both emotionally and legally.

And, your last point about child is wrong. Art. 27 of LPart defines the rights and obligations of a same-sex partner to the child-of-partner and child-of-ex-partner (with or without biological link).

Last edited by happyrobbie; 27.01.2015 at 23:48.
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Old 27.01.2015, 23:33
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Hi everyone,

I want to provide an update on the current situation. My partner and I were able to contact the Migration office in Zurich and what we had been told by his employer was confirmed – the office keeps a list of states it will recognize same-sex unions from and Illinois is not on the list. They informed us that they update the list from time to time and cannot tell us when the list will be updated again. If we apply for family reunification, it will be denied. I have reached out to the Pink Cross seeking legal advice. I am sympathetic to the fact that the list of states legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States is growing on a monthly basis, and neither my husband nor I are citizens of Switzerland meaning any rights we do receive as a family are granted out of the goodwill of the Swiss Government. However, after the upcoming Supreme Court ruling in June, there will undoubtedly be more couples in our situation and we are both hoping it will not take long after to recognize all same-sex marriages performed in the U.S. It concerns us that after we informed the Migration Office that Illinois was missing from the list there wasn’t any interest in updating the list. (Illinois legalized same-sex marriage 7 months ago).

Once again, thank you to everyone here that has commented and steered us in the direction of the Office of Migration and the Pink Cross.
You have two ways.

- Conclude a partnership with your partner directly in Switzerland and then ask for a residence permit.

- Ask for a permit based on individual extereme case (cas individuels d’extrême gravité). This is provided in article 5.6.2.2.4 of DIRECTIVES ET COMMENTAIRES DOMAINE DES ÉTRANGERS (Directives LEtr), which is a by-law issued by FOM on how to implement LEtr.
https://www.ekm.admin.ch/content/dam...ngen-aug-f.pdf
In art. 5.6.2.2.4, it gives same-sex partners who do not want to or who want to but cannot get recognized in Switzerland possibility to ask for a residence permit.

For you of course the first way is simpler. The second will be very complex.
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  #29  
Old 27.01.2015, 23:38
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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- Conclude a partnership with your partner directly in Switzerland and then ask for a residence permit.
Is it possible for non EU or even for anybody not on C permit?
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  #30  
Old 27.01.2015, 23:44
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

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Is it possible for non EU or even for anybody not on C permit?
I do not get your question.

Partnership can be registered in Switzerland as long as one of the partner resides in Switzerland (whatever nationality, whatever permit C, B, L).

But the partner who is not in Switzerland (OP) should establish the legality of his stay in Switzerland in the preliminary step (you can not be illeggal immigrant when you register the partnership).
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  #31  
Old 27.01.2015, 23:58
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Re: Same-sex marriage not recognized?

OK, if the kind of permit doesn't matter, fine. That was my question. I am just surprised by this good news, and find it hard to believe. But I genuinely don't know, so open to answers....
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