February 10, 2020 at 11:46 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Swiss voters approve bill to ban anti-gay discrimination
(Photo public domain)

Voters in Switzerland on Sunday overwhelmingly approved a bill that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Swiss lawmakers in 2018 approved the bill, which added sexual orientation to the country’s nondiscrimination law. The Associated Press reported the measure also made “it illegal to publicly denigrate” and “stir up hatred based on a person’s sexual orientation.”

The bill’s opponents collected enough signatures to prompt a referendum on it.

Swiss voters approved the bill by a 63-37 percent margin.

“Today, it is not only the rights of lesbians, gays and bisexuals that have been strengthened, but also those of all minorities,” said Salome Zimmermann, co-president of LOS (Lesbenorganisation Schweiz), a Swiss lesbian organization, in a press release. “This result is a strong signal because the Swiss people say: We don’t want hate, we want an open society with acceptance for everyone.”

ILGA-Europe also welcomed the referendum results.

“Swiss voters have given a message to Europe that they will not tolerate hate by voting to extend anti-racism legislation to cover sexual orientation, meaning that LGBTQ+ people in Switzerland will be legally protected from discrimination and hate speech,” it said on Sunday in a tweet.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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