Voters in Switzerland overwhelmingly supported a referendum Sunday to make sexual orientation-based discrimination a criminal offense.
Approximately 62% of voters supported the legislation, according to the New York Times. The prospective law was brought to the populace through Switzerland’s referendum-based direct democracy that allows people to vote on issues if enough of the population demands it.
Voters agreed that discrimination, hate speech, and other forms of public insults aimed at homosexuals because of their sexual orientation would be punishable by a fine and up to three years of imprisonment. The criminal code currently covers discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and religion. (Related: In These Two Countries, You Could Soon Be Jailed For Not Hiring Gays)
“Under the amended law, homophobic comments made in public would be punishable with up to three years in prison.” https://t.co/sbvth4rKwA
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) February 11, 2020
The new legislation does not specifically outlaw homophobic comments made in a family setting or among friends, discrimination based on gender identity, public debate on discrimination, or jokes about lesbian, gay, or bisexual people.
The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the strongest party in parliament, opposed the law, arguing that migrants have imported their “homophobic” views, suggesting that social dialogue and expulsion of foreign perpetrators would be more effective at stamping out discrimination, according to DW News.