Swiss voters on Sunday rejected an
attempt to repeal an LGBT rights bill.
Lawmakers approved the bill in 2018 but
opponents, who claim it will censor free speech, collected enough
signatures to put it to a public vote.
The bill prohibits discrimination and
hate speech based on sexual orientation. According to the
AP, the measure makes it “illegal to publicly denigrate” and
“stir up hatred based on a person's sexual orientation.”
Voters overwhelmingly approved the bill
with a 63-37 percent margin.
LGBT rights activist Jean-Pierre
Sigrist told the
AFP that police laughed at him when he reported that he had been
beaten up outside a bar in Geneva four decades ago. The 71-year-old
said that he hopes the new law will help counter a new wave of
intolerance against gay people.
Opponents said that the law gives the
gay community special rights it does not need.
LGBT rights advocate ILGA-Europe
cheered the results.
“Swiss voters have given a message to
Europe that they will not tolerate hate by voting to extend
anti-racist legislation to cover sexual orientation, meaning that
LGBTQ+ people in Switzerland will be legally protected from
discrimination and hate speech,” the group said in a tweet.