Switzerland Makes Homophobia a Crime
Above: A billboard urges voters to reject the amendment.
Switzerland has voted to criminalize homophobia.
In a referendum Sunday, 63.1 percent of voters approved an amendment that makes it a crime to denigrate a person’s sexual orientation publicly, The New York Times reports. The amendment is to a law banning discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and religion.
“It includes comments made on television, messages posted on social media, and discrimination against gay or bisexual people in public venues like restaurants or movie theaters,” the Times notes. Violations can be punished with up to three years in prison.
The amendment originally covered anti-transgender statements as well, but Swiss legislators removed that part of the measure because they considered it too vague.
Switzerland’s Parliament had sought to pass the amendment in 2018, but some citizens expressed concern that it would interfere with freedom of expression. Opponents of the amendment gathered 50,000 petition signatures to put it before voters for their approval or rejection. Coca-Cola recently took out ads in major Swiss newspapers urging approval.
Switzerland is behind most Western European countries when it comes to LGBTQ-inclusive anti-discrimination law. “In Switzerland, it’s possible to publicly say, for instance, ‘Burn the gay’ or ‘Lesbians must be raped’ without any concern,” human rights activist Carolyn Dayer told the Times before the vote. This amendment puts a stop to that, she said.
Supporters of the amendment said it will not stifle free expression because it does not cover comments made in private venues — for instance, in a person’s home. And Interior Minister Alain Berset said jokes about gay, lesbian, and bisexual people would not violate the law “as long as they respect human dignity.”
Switzerland still does not allow same-sex marriages, although it makes civil unions available to same-sex couples. A marriage equality bill is currently pending in Parliament.
9 celebrities called out for shocking ‘homophobic’ comments
From Paris Hilton to Mel Gibson, these nine celebrities were accused of homophobia and were called out for making shocking comments related to the LGBT community.
Kardashian was accused of homophobia after she allegedly ‘outed’ Tyson Beckford on social media.
Beckford had commented on the reality star’s Instagram photos, insulting her appearance.
Kardashian responded to this by implying that the model was gay. This caused outrage on social media, and homophobic accusations began.
Kardashian denied the claims regarding homophobia, stating that her “best friends are gay.”
Beckford was also accused of “body-shaming” Kardashian for his initial comments about her figure.
There couldn’t be a list about celebrities accused of homophobia without Eminem making an appearance.
The rapper has repeatedly come under fire for using slurs, as he is known for using terms such as “sac-religious,” “lez,” “fags” and “faggot.”
More specifically, his song “Criminal” explicitly states, “Hate fags? The answer’s yes.”
However, Eminem denies being homophobic and says that the word is simply “thrown around constantly” in battle rapping.
Paris Hilton was accused of homophobia in 2012 after a recording of her making homophobic comments was leaked.
The socialite is heard saying that gay guys are “disgusting” and that “most of them probably have AIDS.”
Hilton later apologised for the comments. She said, “I was having this private conversation with a friend of mine who is gay and our conversation was in no way towards the entire gay community.
“It is the last thing that I would ever want to do and I cannot put into words how much I wish I could take back every word.”
Christ Brown has been accused of homophobia several times during his career.
The R&B star was especially scrutinised after tweeting “d**k in da a** lil boy” to rapper Raz.
Brown denied the homophobic allegations. On his Twitter, he wrote, “I’m not homophobic! He’s [Raz] just disrespectful!!!”
In 2016, rapper Azealia Banks was accused of homophobic slurs, such as calling Zayn Malik a “faggot.”
She was called out online for her homophobic remarks, and Born & Bred Festival in London even dropped her from their line-up.
Organisers announced: “We have decided to cancel Azealia Banks’ headline appearance at Rinse / Born & Bred Festival.
“Born & Bred is a celebration of rave culture and has been created for EVERYONE. We celebrate inclusivity and equality.”
She later apologised saying “being subjected to name calling/belittlement/abuse” is “not fair.”
Rapper Travis Scott was accused of transphobia after he posted a picture of his album cover for Astroworld with transgender model Amanda Lepore edited out.
On Instagram, Scott denied the accusations that he was homophobic and apologised for the “misunderstanding.”
He said he has “nothing but respect for the LGBTQ community.” See the full post below.
Mel Gibson is another celebrity accused of homophobia.
The Hollywood actor had discussed the perception that many actors are homosexual during a discussion with a Spanish newspaper, El Pais.
He went on to make some troubling comments, stating “they [gay people] take it up the a**… this is only for taking a s**t.”
Gibson explained, “I became an actor despite that. But with this look, who’s going to think I’m gay? It would be hard to take me for someone like that. Do I sound like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them?”
Gibson later told Playboy, “I’ll apologise when hell freezes over.”
The hip-hop artist sparked outrage on social media when he called Caitlyn Jenner a “science project.”
The Instagram post had compared Akon with Jenner. See below for the full post.
The stars who went gay for pay
He was accused of transphobia a second time when he posted a meme of a transgender woman with the words: “WHEN YOUR MONEY AIN’T BRUCE JENNER LONG…”
The former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell also came under fire for his comments regarding Caitlyn Jenner.
He tweeted, “sorry… still calling you Bruce.”
Bell later apologised for his “thoughtless insensitive remarks.”
Social slurs: The celebrities brought down by online homophobia – Factbox
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Days after Kevin Hart was named as the host of next year’s Oscars, the U.S. comedian has had to pull out in the wake of criticism over past homophobic tweets.
But he is not the first celebrity to be caught out over anti-gay slurs.
Here are three other examples:
– Manny Pacquiao
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao lost a lucrative Nike sponsorship deal after video emerged online of him saying people in same-sex relationships were “worse than animals”.
“Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female,” said the eight-times world champion.
“Do you see animals mating with the same sex? If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals.”
After the footage emerged Nike terminated its contract with Pacquiao, describing his remarks as “abhorrent”.
– Azealia Banks
In 2016, rapper Azealia Banks was accused of making homophobic and racially charged slurs about One Direction singer Zayn Malik.
In a heated exchange on Twitter, Banks described Malik as “curry-scented” and called him a “faggot”, a derogatory term for gay men.
Following the controversy, organisers of British music festival Born & Bred dropped Banks as their headline act, saying that they celebrated “inclusivity and equality”.
– Jack Maynard
British YouTube star Jack Maynard was kicked off reality TV show “I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here” last year after a series of homophobic tweets came to light.
Maynard, who has more than 1.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, apologised for tweeting “some pretty disgusting things” after it emerged he called fellow Twitter users “retarded faggots”.
“I was young, I was stupid, I was careless, I just wasn’t thinking,” he said.