LGBT+ groups in Switzerland are calling for the country’s parliament to adopt a national action plan to tackle hate crime.
It comes after an attack in Geneva when three attackers beat an LGBT+ man. However, the organizations say attacks on LGBT+ people are a daily occurrence.
Now six of the parties in the Federal Assembly, Switzerland’s parliament, are supporting action.
National Councillor Angelo Barrile, of the Swiss Socialist Party (SP), is spearheading the move.
He said: ‘I myself had experienced violence when I was traveling with my partner in Zurich. Such experiences are unfortunately common for LGBTQ people – that has to change!
‘The Federal Council is now required to finally take effective measures at all levels.’
The proposed national action plan will attempt to prevent LGBT+ hate crime. Meanwhile it will also offer support to victims. The federal plan would bring together cantons – Switzerland’s states – and cities with national government, civil society and experts to work together.
‘I want nobody to be attacked anymore’
A statement from Pink Cross, lesbian organization Switzerland LOS and Transgender Network Switzerland highlighted an attack in Geneva this month.
A man called Miruh said three men insulted and attacked him:
‘I guess they classified me as weak and gay because of my outfit, insulted me and stole my bag. I ran after them, whereupon they beat me until my nose bled.
‘It was a traumatic experience. I want nobody to be attacked anymore – just because you don’t look completely cis-hetero. That’s why I’m talking about it, but now politics has to do something.’
Meanwhile Transgender Network Switzerland’s legal advisor said: ‘Most of our clients have experienced violence because they are trans. Be it at home or in public spaces, once you are known or recognizable as trans, it can be dangerous.’
Moreover, Muriel Waeger, a manager at Switzerland LOS and Pink Cross, also said she faced problems:
‘Sometimes I don’t dress or behave as society would expect me as a woman. I hope that I will soon be able to do this more naturally and without fear. If we stand together as a society and everyone who sees violence intervenes, we can do it.’
Change appears to be coming to Switzerland this year. Earlier this month, the National Council finally backed same-sex marriage equality.
Moreover, in February, Swiss voters backed new anti-discrimination laws in a referendum. The new laws protect people from discimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but not gender identity.