Top of page

Article Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1

(Apr. 30, 2020) In its session of April 3, 2020, the Swiss Federal Council, the country’s government, decided that a prohibition on discrimination due to sexual orientation will enter into force on July 1, 2020. The necessary amendments to the Criminal Code and the Military Criminal Code had been adopted by the Swiss Parliament on December 14, 2019, and approved by the Swiss people in a referendum on February 9, 2020, with an approval rate of 63.1%.

Currently, the Swiss Criminal Code and the Military Criminal Code criminalize inciting hatred or discrimination only on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, or religion. (Criminal Code § 261bis; Military Criminal Code § 171c.) The amendments add “sexual orientation” to the list. The discriminating behavior must be public and intentional, and must violate human dignity; private statements made in someone’s circle of family or friends are not prohibited. (Explanatory Memorandum at 19.) Furthermore, denying services to a person due to his or her sexual orientation will now be prohibited. These crimes will be punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine.

About this Item

Title

  • Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1

Online Format

  • web page

Rights & Access

Publications of the Library of Congress are works of the United States Government as defined in the United States Code 17 U.S.C. §105 and therefore are not subject to copyright and are free to use and reuse.  The Library of Congress has no objection to the international use and reuse of Library U.S. Government works on loc.gov. These works are also available for worldwide use and reuse under CC0 1.0 Universal. 

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Credit Line: Law Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Gesley, Jenny. Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1. 2020. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2020-04-30/switzerland-prohibition-on-sexual-orientation-discrimination-will-apply-starting-july-1/.

APA citation style:

Gesley, J. (2020) Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2020-04-30/switzerland-prohibition-on-sexual-orientation-discrimination-will-apply-starting-july-1/.

MLA citation style:

Gesley, Jenny. Switzerland: Prohibition on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Will Apply Starting July 1. 2020. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2020-04-30/switzerland-prohibition-on-sexual-orientation-discrimination-will-apply-starting-july-1/>.