Switzerland has recorded its first civil partnership under a new law that came into effect January 1. The two men have been together as a couple for three decades!
The civil partnership law provides same-sex couples with most of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of marriage.
Not surprisingly, the Roman Catholic Church fought against the new law that now allows civil partnerships. A union of Protestant churches in the country actually supported the measure.
Switzerland has joined the growing trend toward fairness. Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium, Canada, and the U.S. state of Massachussets have legalized same-sex marriage while many other places have legalized some form of civil union or domestic partnerships.
Of course many world leaders (including in this "home of the free") will continue to use religion as an excuse to keep gay couples marginalized and even penalized for their innate orientation. Such ridiculous arguments as same-gender love offends God or defies the bible will be used, and strangely those arguments will be taken seriously or least patiently by far too many. But people don't need a god to transfer their prejudcies to; they should own their bigotry and stop trying to disguise it as virtue.
As Europe takes the moral leadership in providing equality and fairness to LBGT people, it is surely just a matter of time before the rest of the world follows their lead. The U.S. may be among the last to finally do what is right, but we will finally live up to the cause of liberty to which we so freely pay lip service. With another major country offering civil partnerships, the New Year is off to a hopeful start.