Central PA's LGBT News Source
Voters in Switzerland have backed a proposal to make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity illegal.
The result - 63.1% in favor to 36.9% against - is a huge boost for Switzerland's LGBT community.
It had argued Swiss law on the issue lagged far behind other countries in Europe. Opponents of the new law argued it could restrict free speech.
In Switzerland, discrimination because of race or religion is already illegal.
In the run up to the vote, campaigners had said they thought the result would be tight, and that a "yes" vote of more than 60% was unlikely.
Sunday's outcome shows public opinion is far more receptive to strengthening anti-discrimination legislation than analysts had predicted.
Pink Cross Switzerland said: "The result proves a strong sign of acceptance for lesbians, gays and bisexuals. After the clear yes, the LGBTI community will use this momentum to achieve the consistent implementation of the penal code and to enforce marriage equality."
A bill to legalise same-sex marriage is currently on its way through parliament.
"Many Swiss people tend to overrate how modern our country is," explains Anna Rosenwasser of the Swiss Lesbian Organisation.
She points out that on the Rainbow Map of 49 countries' respect for LGBT rights, Switzerland ranks just 23rd. "It might be rich, but it's really not modern yet. We have no laws concerning public discrimination based on sexual orientation."
To support her argument that the lack of legal protection causes harm to the gay community, Ms Rosenwasser cites suicide rates: "Amongst queer people in Switzerland, it is five times higher compared to heterosexual people. That's quite something, it shows how we are not feeling safe yet."