Switzerland’s lower house passed a bill in September that would add homophobia and transphobia to the national criminal code and require a fine or up to three years in prison for offenders.
The bill passed the National Council, 118-60, and now goes to the upper house, the Council of States, according to the newspaper Le Temps. Five members abstained.
The bill would place sexual orientation and gender identity alongside race, ethnicity and religion in the criminal code and ban “incitement to hatred or discrimination against a person or group of persons,” according to Le Temps.
National Council member Mathias Reynard asserted that “homophobia is not an opinion” but instead a crime.
“Victory!” he wrote on Twitter after the bill passed.
Yves Nidegger, another member of the National Council, expressed concern about the law’s “legally problematic and indefinable” terms. He also wondered whether “pedophilia, bisexuality, gerontophilia, necrophilia, fetishism, zoophilia, and so on … are sexual orientations that must be protected or not protected.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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