Homophobia in Switzerland could get you three years in jail

14 December 2018 - 11:54 By Ntokozo Miya
Switzerland has joined the growing list of countries that regard homophobia as a criminal offence.
Switzerland has joined the growing list of countries that regard homophobia as a criminal offence.
Image: iStock

It’s official! Homophobia is now a criminal offence in Switzerland.

According to Swiss Info, the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s anti-racism laws now make provision for discrimination based on sexual orientation. 

In October, the country’s parliament voted to approve a motion that will allow for the criminal prosecution of homophobes.

An overwhelming 118 members of parliament voted in favour of the motion, while 60 cast their votes against criminilisation.

The law has now come into effect, making Switzerland the latest country to tighten legislation regarding hate crimes against members of the LGBT community.

Austria, France and Denmark also take criminal action against homophobia. 

Pink News, a news and information source that specialises in LGBT content in the US and UK, reported that offenders face up to three years behind bars. 

The motion was advanced by councillor Mathias Reynard. 

"The Swiss parliament’s decision is great news because it sends the powerful message that homophobia is not an opinion," he said.

Human rights organisations and the LGBT community across the globe are celebrating the news as a step in the right direction towards eradicating attacks on gays and lesbians.

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