Swiss people approved by referendum a law against homophobia

Les Suisses approuvent par référendum une loi anti-homophobie

The Swiss were widely approved Sunday in a referendum a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, countered by training conservative. The results of 23 of the 26 cantons of the country, give the ” yes ” 60.5 %, and the institute GFS Bern released shortly after the close of voting a national projection of 62 % of votes in favour.

Mathias Reynard, the parliamentary socialist to the origin of this reform of the penal code of switzerland, welcomed on the chain of RTS-1 “a historic day” and ” a signal beautiful for all the people concerned “.

Marc Frueh, of the small party, the defender of christian values on the UDF, which has launched this referendum with the support of the Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC, right-wing populist), the first party of the country, said voting was justified in spite of its failure.

The referendum ” has allowed the swiss people to make a decision “, he said on the same string. He added, however, that his training would remain vigilant on the implementation of the reform.

The new law anti-homophobia expanding a already existing legislation on the fight against discrimination and calls for racial or religious hatred, extending to sexual orientation.

This reform of the penal code, adopted in 2018, has encountered the opposition of conservative circles, and populists, who initiated this referendum in the hope of a dam to a form of “censorship” and ” freedom of expression, conscience and commerce “.

The other parties were of the view that the protection against discrimination because of sexual orientation was insufficient in Switzerland, and called for a ” yes ” vote to the reform.

Fines and prison sentences

The proponents of the text have also relied on the fact that discrimination based on sexual orientation was already sanctioned in other european countries, and that the Council of Europe such as the united nations had asked Switzerland to strengthen its arsenal against homophobia.

The new law punishes the public denigration and discrimination of any person because of his sexual orientation, or any form of behaviour intended to stir up hatred against her, by writing, speech, pictures or gestures. It does not penalize, however, remarks in the family circle or among friends.

Restaurants, hotels, transport companies, cinemas, or swimming pools will not be able to refuse access to someone because of their sexual orientation. The text provides for fines or sentences of up to three years in prison.

Within the circles of LGBT, there is some fear, however, that a special protection stigmatizes them more.

“I fight for the acceptance and normalization of my sexuality. But for me, the normalization also means it does not require special rights “, argued before the vote Michael Frauchiger, co-chairman of the committee ” special Rights, NO! “.

The results of the vote also show a discrepancy between urban centres and some rural areas.

And Geneva (76 %) and the city of Basel (nearly 72 %) voted overwhelmingly ” yes “. Conversely, the ” no ” prevailed in three small German-speaking cantons of central and eastern.

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