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    Overview of the National Council during the ministerial elections in the Swiss Parliament during the winter session in Bern, Switzerland December 9, 2015

    Switzerland About to Criminalize Homophobia, Transphobia

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    The related UN and EU institutions earlier drew the Swiss’ attention to discrimination issues, urging them to amend their legislation.

    The Swiss National Council has adopted amendments to the discrimination law in relation to the LGBT community, which stipulate up to three years in prison for manifestations of homophobia and transphobia, the Swiss edition of Le Temps wrote.

    The Lower House of the Swiss Parliament approved the initiative of socialist Mathias Reynard, banning all discriminatory actions with regard to gender and sexual orientation. The new amendment equates these with discrimination over race, ethnicity and religion, which is severely punishable under Swiss law. 

    “It’s a win! With 118 votes for and 60 against, and 5 people abstaining, the National Council has accepted my parliamentary initiative against homophobia and transphobia,” Reynard wrote on Twitter in late September.

    He went on to state that homophobia “is not a point of view,” but “a crime,” adding that “every fifth homosexual attempted to take his or her life, and the majority of them were under 20.”

    The bill is due to be discussed at the the Council of States, the upper chamber of the Swiss parliament, in December.

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    Earlier, UN and European Commission representatives on racism and intolerance issues suggested that Switzerland should introduce the aforementioned amendments into its effective law, Le Temps wrote.

    Back in 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, following which the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report outlining violations of homosexuals’ rights, including hate crimes, as well as criminalization of homosexual activity.

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    crime, homophobia, sex, Switzerland
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