Switzerland Votes To Make LGBT Discrimination Illegal
Via the BBC:
Voters in Switzerland have backed a proposal to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity illegal. The result of 63.1% in favour to 36.9% against is a huge boost for Switzerland’s LGBT community.
It had argued Swiss law on the issue lagged far behind other countries in Europe. Opponents of the new law argued it could restrict free speech. In Switzerland, discrimination because of race or religion is already illegal.
In the run up to the vote, campaigners had said they thought the result would be tight, and that a yes vote of more than 60% was unlikely. Sunday’s outcome shows public opinion is far more receptive to strengthening anti-discrimination legislation than analysts had predicted.
Under the new law, those who “publicly degrade or discriminate” others on the basis of their sexual orientation, for example by denying same-sex couples entry to a nightclub, could face a jail sentence of up to three years. The law does not affect private conversations such as among friends or family.
Several European countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland and the UK already have similar legislation in place.