December 3, 2020

Switzerland approves homophobia to be sanctioned as a form of discrimination



63.1% of Swiss voters today approved in a referendum that all discrimination based on sexual orientation be sanctioned in the same way as racism.

Only discrimination on the grounds of religious, racial or ethnic groups was explicitly prohibited in Swiss legislation, which legislators attempted to correct last year by passing a law covering the existing void for homophobia cases.

However, the parliamentarians clashed with the opposition of ultra-conservative religious groups that, with the political support of the far-right Democratic Union Center (UDC) party, managed to gather the 100,000 signatures necessary to force the call for a referendum with which they were trying to cancel the criminalization of homophobia.

His arguments were the supposed threat posed by anti-discrimination legislation to freedom of expression and his opposition to the LGBTI community being subject to specific protection.

From their perspective, existing laws already prevent insults, slander and other types of violence against them.

In response to those fears, Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said no one should be afraid to express their ideas as long as they do so in a respectful manner.

The initiative was rejected, with which Switzerland guarantees its alignment with European legislation that penalizes discrimination against LGTBI groups.

Not satisfied with the results of the referendum, the promoters of this initiative have already announced that they will begin collecting signatures for the convening of a new consultation, this time against homosexual marriage.

On the same day, Swiss citizens rejected by 57.1% another initiative so that at least 10% of homes in the country are of a social nature, compared to the 5% that this condition must meet today.

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