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Switzerland Makes Transphobia and Homophobia Illegal



In a landmark decision, Switzerland’s National Council voted 118 to 60 to criminalize transphobia and homophobia. The new ruling, which is parallel to offenses of racism, introduces a prison sentence of up to three years in prison for transphobic and homophobic crimes, including “hate speech.”

The new ruling comes after other countries – including India and Trinidad and Tobago – made similar decisions, delivering more rights for those in the LGBTQ community.

Mathias Reynard, Socialist council member who led the campaign, introduced and has championed the penal code reform over the last five years. Following the ruling Reynard told Shortlist:

“The Swiss Parliament’s decision is great news because it sends the powerful message that homophobia is not an opinion; as for racism, it’s a violation of the law.”

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“I tabled the motion after speaking to friends of mine who have personally been victims of verbal and physical homophobic violence,” he continued.

“And working on this law I found out that the Swiss case-law doesn’t punish either hate speech or incitement to hatred towards LGBT+ people. During the last few years, this loophole in the law has been pointed out several times at an international level.”

Mathias Reynard (@MathiasReynard) tweeted last week, “Victory! By 118 against 60 and 5 abstentions, the National Council accepts my parliamentary initiative against homophobia and transphobia! A magnificent success for human rights! Final response in December to the Council of States. 🏳️🌈🇨🇭

Reynard is fighting for the legislation of same-sex marriage for the Swiss. Currently, couples may only enter civil partnerships and have no equivalent legal rights over adoption, taxes or welfare.




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