Switzerland on Sunday voted in favour of new laws that would make ‘homophobia’ a criminal offence punishable by fines and up to three years imprisonment.
More than 60 per cent of voters participating in the referendum were in favour of the new legislation which would extend anti-racism laws to include “discrimination,” “hate speech” and public “insults” aimed at individuals because of their “sexual orientation”.
Mathias Reynard, a lawmaker from the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland who first proposed the law, said, “Homophobia is not an opinion. It’s a crime.
“This victory sends a strong signal. I have already received hundreds of reactions,” he said.
Speaking with Premier Christian News, UDF MP Samuel Kullmann warned the new legislation goes beyond just outlawing hate.
“In Finland, a Member of Parliament from the Christian Democrats was questioned by police numerous times simply for posting a Bible verse on her Twitter account,” Kullmann said. “And she was even questioned for a booklet she wrote 15 years ago about her view on Christian ethics and marriage.
“In almost every country that has passed a similar law, we find examples that show that it’s actually much more than what most Christians would understand as hate speech,” he added.
Silvan Amberg, co-president of Sonderrecht NEIN (“No to Special Rights”), an LGBTI group opposed to the legislation told Euro News the gay community does not need special treatment.
“There is not really an objective criteria to decide what is hate speech and what isn’t in a broad sense,” he said. “We don’t want this kind of special law that protects us from hate speech.”
Life Site News noted, with nearly two-thirds voting in favour of expanding the anti-discrimination law, it could be argued that there is a large population in support of the LGB community. However, “the turnout for the referendum did not exceed 41 per cent of potential voters, which means only about one in four Swiss registered as voters actually approved the new measure. Fifty-nine percent had no opinion or didn’t care.”