Media release

The Swiss Parliament accepts the law project to protect lesbians and gays from discrimination

According to the Parliament, LGBT people should be protected against hate speech and discrimination on grounds of the criminal law provisions 261bis. The Swiss Gay Federation PINK CROSS and The Swiss Lesbian Organisation LOS welcome warmly this decision.

Yesterday afternoon, the Swiss parliament approved the parliamentary initiative (Link: German, French, Italian) from Mathias Reynard (Social Democratic Party) with 103 yes-voices, against 73 and 9 abstentions. Also the parliament supported a Geneva cantonal initiative (Link: German, French, Italian) with 102 yes-voices, against 81 and 2 abstentions.

Both texts require completing art. 261bis (Link: English) and specifies that this law should also protect people with different sexual orientations as people with different confessions or races.

PINK CROSS and LOS are specially pleased by decision. With this law the parliament is taking a progressive step and making an advance to modernity in the field of non-discrimination. Already 40 states apply a law protecting homosexuals against hate and discrimination.

"It's nice to live in a country that recognizes diversity and supports the same equal protection for everyone" according to Bastian Baumann, Secretary-General PINK CROSS. Before the vote Mathias Reynard said that the risk to suicide is 5 times higher for lesbians and gays than heterosexual individuals in Switzerland and that homophobic incidents have also increased in recent years. "Only a law can guarantee a real understanding and an open dialogue to prevent violence and discrimination against LGBT people” said Bastian Baumann.

The law is not only important for LGBT organizations; it also improves the daily life of lesbians and gays. "The lesbians and gays feel strengthened if they are supported by their state, and when the parliament recognizes them the same rights as all citizens," according to Barbara Lanthemann, Secretary-General LOS.

In summer the small champer (Ständerat) will debate the two initiatives.
More informations:
Bastian Baumann, Secretary-General PINK CROSS / T +41 31 372 33 00 / M +41 79 796 28 67

Barbara Lanthemann, Secretary-General LOS / M 079 773 31 23
PINK CROSS ist the Swiss Gay Federation with head office in Bern, Switzerland. The organisation operates nationwide in Switzerland in languages as German, French and Italian. 53 LGBT-organisations, 34 companies and over 2,000 individual members are connected with PINK CROSS. The organization was founded on June 5, 1993.
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