Switzerland backs bill against LGTBQ2 discrimination in referendum vote

Swiss voters appeared to have given clear backing to a measure that would make it illegal to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation, according to a projection for a referendum held Sunday.

Switzerland’s parliament in late 2018 approved expanding the country’s existing anti-discrimination law to make it illegal to publicly denigrate, discriminate or stir up hatred based on a person’s sexual orientation.

Opponents of the move insisted it violated their right to freedom of opinion and gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on the issue. Switzerland holds referendums several times a year that give voters a direct say in policy-making.

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A projection by the gfs.bern polling agency for SRF public television showed voters supported outlawing anti-gay discrimination by a margin of 62 per cent to 38 per cent, an outcome that would be roughly in line with pre-referendum expectations.

If the measure passes, operators of restaurants, cinemas and public facilities such as swimming pools would not be able to turn people away because of their sexual orientation.

Opponents argued that protections against denigration were already enshrined in Swiss law.

Supporters say the addition is needed but that it would not stifle legitimate public debate as long as the views expressed don’t stray into fomenting hate or discrimination.

(C) 2020 The Canadian Press

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