After the twins were denied admission, protestors held a "kiss-in" to fight against the decision in the hopes that national law would undergo a much-needed transformation.
A daycare in Switzerland has come under fire for rejecting three-year-old twins from being enrolled because they have gay dads. The decision has spurred a national conversation about homophobia. As the gay couple tries to navigate the hurdles of parenting while being a part of the LBGTQ+ community, interest groups and activists across the European country have called for redressal of laws against discrimination and exclusion, demanding that all minority communities be protected. Meanwhile, it appears that the daycare in question has not had to confront any legal challenges thus far. Nonetheless, a public "kiss-in" was organized in order to protest the daycare's explicit homophobia, local news outlet 20 Minutes reports.
It's a clear message to the other kids, "it's ok to discriminate diversity".— jivfu (@jivfu) November 5, 2019
As educator your job is not only to teach scientific knowledge, it's to create better citizens that respect everyone. https://t.co/8rEYW3OG9y
The daycare, located in Lenzburg, refused toddler twins Rafael and Rahul because of their gay fathers Stefan and his husband Rosha. Allegedly, when asked why the twins were denied admission, the receptionist at the daycare claimed that the couple's lifestyle was “neither normal nor natural.” Stefan shared, "She said that little ones could be very mean to each other, so she did not want to have children from a gay couple." Though little children learn homophobia—usually from their families or schools—it is unfair and unjust to expect children with gay parents to be excluded from mainstream daycare facilities. Moreover, such bigoted forms of exclusion only "other" the LGBTQ+ community rather than normalizing these relationships and gender identities.
Sadly, it appears that there is little Stefan and Rosha can do to fight the daycare's decision. Because the facility does not receive public funding, they do not have to comply with public regulations—if there were any. At present, there are no laws protecting LGBTQ+ folks from facing such discrimination, bringing to the forefront the desperate need for a revision of Swiss law. The Schweizerischen Spielgruppenleiterinnen-Verband, the Swiss Playgroup Federation, affirmed that such daycares, also referred to as playgroups, are voluntary and therefore are not required by law to fulfill any specific requirements.
Nonetheless, Cordula Niklau, a lawyer and vice president of lesbian professional network Wybernet, stated, "This incident shows that protection against hate and discrimination is a necessity. If these children had Jewish parents, excluding them would be illegal." Furthermore, Regula Aeschbach, president of the Argovian Daycare Centers, added, "This behavior is discriminatory." Thus, demonstrators decided to hold a "kiss-in" in Lenzburg. About 15 protestors kissed each other on the mouth to denounce the discrimination Stefan, Rosha, and their children faced.
Whether this will have any impact is yet to be seen. In the meantime, Stefan and Rosha, though still quite shocked and currently processing the trauma they had to endure, have decided to wait for preschool to start for the kids next year instead of putting them in a playgroup during the present year. Stefan concluded, "It's good that our case is causing a discussion about homophobia in society. We hope that lesbian or gay couples will no longer have to face such discrimination." Of course, no one should have to face discrimination in order for national law to recognize somebody's right to humanity, but hopefully, change will come due to this unfortunate incident.