Switzerland ranks mid-table in Europe for gay rights

The path to equality isn't a smooth one, despite events like Gay Pride in Zurich (pictured). © Keystone / Melanie Duchene

Switzerland is far from the vanguard when it comes to the legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, according to an international interest group.

This content was published on May 14, 2020 - 15:48

In a European comparison by ILGA EuropeExternal link, Switzerland ranks 23rd among 49 countries. IGLA Europe cites a lack of protection for those who are transgender or intersex, as well as a lack of measures for equality at the workplace and in marriage and family matters. In addition, the group says Switzerland doesn’t do enough to combat hate crimes.

This “rainbow map”, published on Thursday, shows the comparison at a glance:

The ranking reflects an improvement on the previous year, when Switzerland came 27th. In February, 63.1% of voters backed extending anti-racism legislation to make it illegal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.

Rainbow Europe 2020External link was topped by Malta, followed by Belgium and Luxembourg. Azerbaijan came 49th, below Turkey and Armenia.

Unfinished business

Swiss LGBTI groups demand that it be easier for transgender and intersex people to change gender on paper. They also want a ban on gender-changing operations and hormonal interventions without the consent of those affected – in particular, children.

Criticism is also directed at Swiss health insurance companies. Transmen, for example, need gender-appropriate medication that is often not covered by health insurance, say critics.

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