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Switzerland

In Switzerland, Some Gays Stay In The Closet - From Nine To Five

Switzerland is gradually becoming more tolerant of gays. But many homosexuals say they're still reluctant to come out at work, where clear cases of discrimination continue to occur.

City worker at Gay Rights parade in Seattle (markjhandel)
City worker at Gay Rights parade in Seattle (markjhandel)
Caroline Stevan

GENEVA -- Arriving at the office Monday morning and inventing a romantic weekend with a lover of the opposite sex, eluding questions about one's personal life, pretending to laugh at jokes about "homos' and even putting up with remarks by a colleague who takes it upon himself to warn each new female employee that there's a lesbian working for the company. For many homosexuals, work is the last place they'd want to come out.

Gays often describe it as a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Switzerland has laws in place to protect homosexuals from workplace discrimination. And there are more and more professional organizations in place to support openly gay employees, including Pride UBS to Pink Cop, Medigay and Pink Rail. "Coming out is a protection," says Alexander Curchod, a lawyer and co-author of a book on gay rights in Switzerland.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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