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Switzerland Just Voted To Make Homophobia And Transphobia A Prisonable Crime

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Similar to the way Switzerland regards racism, the Alpine nation is not neutral when it comes to homophobia and transphobia.

The Central European Country's national council voted to take a stand against LGBT discrimination by making it illegal in a monumental ruling.


Swiss councilors voted in a parliamentary initiative ruling 118 to 60 in favor of punishing those who discriminate based on one's gender identity or sexual preference.

Those who commit hate crimes like hate speech could face a three year prison sentence.


Before everyone can officially celebrate, however, the Council of States still has to approve the motion before it becomes a law.

According to Dazed, Switzerland's fight against anti-LGBT groups is a long-time coming due to on-going concerns of hate crimes.

"homophobia is not an opinion. It's a crime... the victory sends a strong signal," Mathias Reynard told the Shortlist.

"I have already received hundreds of reactions."

The 31-year-old national councilor had been fighting to update the penal code for almost ten years. But his fight isn't over yet.

His next hope is to legalize gay marriage. The country can currently enter civil partnerships but couples aren't entitled to the same legal rights as heterosexual couples – including taxes, adoption, and welfare.

On September 25, Reynard posted about the preliminary success on Twitter.

Pink News translated his tweet:

""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."





People are celebrating Switzerland's revolutionary news.








Switzerland is regarded as one of the most socially progressive countries (#3 on the Social Progress Imperative's index), according to Paper.

However, Switzerland's ranking sits low on Rainbow Europe's index when it comes to LGBTI advocacy. Out of 49 European nations, Switzerland ranks at 22, below Greece, Croatia and Hungary.

The ranking is determined by how the laws and policies of each European country impacts the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.

On their website, Rainbow Europe explains which categories are used for their bench-marking measures:

"ILGA-Europe track each country using a wide range of indicators; covering everything from equality, family issues and hate speech to legal gender recognition, freedom of expression and asylum rights."



Rene Schegg, secretary general of Pink Cross is hopeful that the ruling's impact could improve Switzerland's ranking for LGBTI advocacy.

"The decision of the day is an important step. It will likely bring Switzerland back to the rankings of the International Association of LGBTI People, where our country currently ranks 22nd behind Estonia and Hungary."

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Reynard explained what prompted his campaign to fight for justice against hate crimes.

"I tabled the motion after speaking to friends of mine who have personally been victims of verbal and physical homophobic violence."
"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."



H/T - Paper, GettyImages, Twitter, Shortlist, Pinknews, Dazed

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