In Switzerland, the National Council will alter its penal code to forbid homophobia and it will mean that those who engage in homophobic activity will be handed down punishments similar to those regarding discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, origin or religion.
Before this alteration can be made law, the decision of the Council of States for the final vote must take place.
The proposal takes the name of the socialist national councilor Mathias Reynard, who explained that the lack of protection for LGBT + people is a serious gap that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
The current Criminal Code of Switzerland indicates a law that prohibits and punishes offenses and discrimination by origin and religion but does not include punishment for acts of homophobia.
In addition, Reynard reported that one in five members of the LGBT+ community have attempted suicide, and 50% of those who do so are less than 20 years old. For this reason, state intervention on this issue is important in helping to protest one of the most vulnerable minorities in Switzerland.
Ireland Still Without Hate Crime Legislation
In Ireland, efforts to eradicate homophobia, transphobia and biphobia continue.
Earlier this year, Senator Fintan Warfield introduced the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 to the Seanad.
Senator Warfield has called on Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan to bring forward robust hate crime legislation as a matter of urgency.
Senator Warfield said:
“I’d like to commend the LGBTQI activists and our allies across Ireland in their efforts in eradicating Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia this year. However, this state remains the only western European jurisdiction without standard hate crime legislation.
“Hate crime is a manifestation of prejudice and bigotry amongst a society and it’s no longer acceptable to leave LGBTQI people or other marginalised communities in Ireland vulnerable.
“I am calling on Minister for Justice and Equality to bring forward robust hate crime legislation as a matter of urgency.”
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