LGBTI issues to be attached to the Office for Gender Equality from 2024 onwards
Bern, 25.01.2023 - The issue of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTI) will be located within the Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE) from 2024. Two new posts will be created for this purpose. The Federal Council was informed of this on 25 January 2023.
In Switzerland the equality of LGBTI persons before the law has improved in recent years: the scope of anti-racism penal provisions has been extended, it has become easier to register a different gender at the civil registry office and marriage for same-sex couples has been introduced. Nevertheless, LGBTI persons continue to face disadvantages in different areas of life. Switzerland is committed to combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is in line with its domestic and foreign policy commitment to strengthening human rights.
There is currently no unit within the Federal Administration that deals specifically with LGBTI issues. Various federal offices deal with the issue on an ad hoc basis within the scope of their responsibilities, such as the Federal Office of Justice in matters relating to protection against discrimination or marriage for same-sex couples and the Federal Office of Public Health in health matters and sexual health questions. In response to several parliamentary requests on the matter, the Federal Council has examined whether and how the Federal Administration could assume a coordinating role on LGBTI issues. The Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) was tasked with the review. It concluded that the FOGE is best suited to deal with LGBTI issues since, under the Gender Equality Act, it promotes gender equality in all areas of life and is committed to the elimination of all forms of direct and indirect discrimination.
The FOGE continues to focus on promoting gender equality in working life and combating violence against women and domestic violence. With its new task, the office will take on the responsibility of responding to particular parliamentary mandates and of coordinating cooperation with other federal offices that continue to deal with LGBTI issues. It will also maintain contact with the cantons and communes that already address these issues and cultivate dialogue with specialist and non-governmental organisations. One of its major tasks will be to draw up a «national action plan against LGBTQ-hostile hate crimes», as called for in the Barrile postulate (20.3820). For this purpose, two positions will be created in the FOGE; these will be funded from existing FDHA resources.
Address for enquiries
Federal Office for Gender Equality
Tel. +41 58 484 98 18