On Sunday, voters in Liechtenstein overwhelmingly adopted a new law giving gay and lesbian couples the right to formally register their partnership. Official reports stated that 68.8 percent of voters endorsed the law, and 31.2 percent voted against it.
Roman Catholic groups, led by Vox Populi, had challenged legislation establishing partnerships, saying the system would weaken traditional family ties, and demanded a referendum. The population is heavily Catholic; approximately 78% in 2000.
Gay and lesbian couples will now be treated equally with heterosexual couples for purposes of inheritance, social security, immigration and taxation. However, they will still be barred from adopting children or accessing reproductive medical services.
Liechtenstein has a population of roughly 35,000 people.