Switzerland: homophobia condemned as racism
Homophobia should be combated in Switzerland in the same way as racism. On Tuesday, the National Council completed the anti-racist Penal Code. The Council of States has yet to take a decision.
Homophobia is not an opinion. Homophobia kills, launched Mathias Reynard (PS / VS), whose parliamentary initiative is at the origin of the project. One in five homosexuals has tried to commit suicide, half before the age of 20.
The current legislation does not allow for addressing homophobic remarks expressed in general terms, such as “all homos in camps”. The Federal Court refuses the right to act to associations for the protection of the rights of homosexuals in the field of crimes against honour.
Nor can a gay or lesbian claim an offence against his or her honour when homophobic remarks are made towards the homosexual community. The homophobic nature of a physical attack is not recognised as such, the Valaisan continued.
To address the problem, the anti-racism standard must be supplemented to include sexual orientation. This extension will not apply to statements and acts targeting pathological sexual preferences such as paedophilia.
According to the opponents of the bill, the current legal arsenal already allows for action, whether in civil law (violation of honour) or in criminal law (defamation, slander, threats, inconvenience caused by confronting a sexual act, bodily injury).
The frontal opposition failed by 115 votes to 60. Despite the support of the Federal Council, the right failed to narrow the scope of the project. By 98 votes to 83, the National also agreed to add gender identity to the anti-racist standard.
I think our society is way ahead of our politics in some topics like changing marriage rights or adoption rights. The world will not stand still and the politics need to hurry so they don’t lose sight.
The full ranking of gay rights: