Court drops hate crime charge against Swiss bishop for speaking about homosexuality
October 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – As LifeSiteNews reported on Aug. 11 2015, the Swiss Bishop of Chur, Bishop Vitus Huonder, was sued by a homosexual organization, Pink Cross, and charged with a hate crime because, in a public talk in Fulda, Germany, on 31 July, he had the Old Testament concerning practicing homosexuals.
On October 9, however, the official website of the Swiss Bishops' Conference, kath.ch, reported that the responsible State Court in Graubünden, Switzerland, has dropped this suit due to a lack of sufficient grounds for the charge.
As the representative of Bishop Huonder, Guiseppe Gracia, told LifeSiteNews: “The lawsuit was an attempt to penalize the freedoms of religion and of speech for those who are of a different opinion.” However, according to Gracia, this attempt did not have any success. This was especially “good news for all those who take seriously the claim to practice mutual tolerance.”
The Swiss Bishops' website also reports that, in addition to the male homosexual association, Pink Cross, a female homosexual umbrella organization also originally filed suit against Bishop Huonder. All of these legal actions were taken in spite of the fact that Bishop Huonder promptly and publicly apologized for his lack of prudence. The bishop said he should not have quoted Old Testament passages which speak of a death penalty for practicing homosexuals without also making it perfectly clear that he only meant with these illustrative quotes to show how the Old Testament sternly regarded the practice of homosexuality itself. The bishop said he did not think it was necesarry to emphasize that he was not propagating the idea of a death penalty for those who now practice homosexuality.
Bishop Huonder had already on August 3 made it unequivocally clear that he adheres to the traditional Catholic moral teaching on homosexuality, as expressed in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church, which explicitly prohibits unjust discrimination againts homosexual persons.
Guiseppe Gracia explained the background to this law suit to LifeSiteNews, as follows:
It was obvious that the Bishop [Huonder] had not had the intention to call anybody to violence and that he himself had apologized several times for this misunderstanding. Nevertheless, the Gay Lobby filed suit. That perhaps happened also in order to propagandize in favor of an amendment of a law which will soon be on the agenda in Switzerland, namely the broadening of the so-called Penal Law Against Racism by adding the criterion of the sexual orientation.
The political goal is clear: in the future, any critical statements about the homosexual way of life – whether they are based on religious arguments or others – shall be able to be prosecuted by the courts as [a form of] racism. In this way, one aims at silencing everybody who is of a different opinion – under the false flag of anti-discrimination.
Pink Cross has decided to file an appeal against the decision of the Public Prosecution Department in Graubuenden, Switzerland to drop the law suit against Huonder. Huonder's spokesman declined any further comment toward the media about this new move which will put Huonder under further and prolonged tension and pressure. Pink Cross upholds the claim that he was calling for violence against homosexuals.