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Switzerland makes homophobia and transphobia as illegal as racism in new change to penal code

National councillor Mathias Reynard spearheaded the campaign to change the law

By Steve Brown

Switzerland has made homophobia and transphobia as illegal as racism in a new vote to change the penal code.

The National Council voted 118 to 60 to make is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexuality or gender identity and anyone found guilty could receive a jail sentence for up to three years.

National councillor Mathias Reynard – who spearheaded the change to the law – said: “Homophobia is not an opinion. It’s a crime.

“One in five homosexuals attempted suicide, half before the age of 20.

“The victory sends a strong signal. I have already received hundreds of reactions.”

Currently in Switzerland, same-sex couples don’t have equal rights when it comes to tax, fertility, welfare and adoption but has allowed civil partnerships since 2007.

Reynard said he will now push to make same-sex marriage legal in Switzerland.