EU launches legal action against Hungary and Poland over controversial anti LGBTQ+ actions

'Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised' says European Parliament President, Ursula von der Leyen.

The EU flag and a rainbow flag flying outside a building

The EU has announced it is to begin legal action against Hungary and Poland for their anti LGBTQ+ actions. In a social media statement by the European Commission they share, “Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised.

“We start legal action against Hungary and Poland for violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people.”

In a press statement, the EU continues, “Equality and the respect for dignity and human rights are core values of the EU, enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. The Commission will use all the instruments at its disposal to defend these values.

“The Commission is launching infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland related to the equality and the protection of fundamental rights.”

The announcement comes in response to recent amendments to the Constitution passed by the Hungarian Parliament that saw a ban on same-sex couples adopting, gender recognition for the trans community, and barring schools from holding LGBTQ+ workshops in a bid to ‘uphold conservative Christian teachings’.

Hungary has tried to claim that these measures were to protect children, but the EU replied, “in this case Hungary has failed to explain why the exposure of children to LGBTIQ content as such would be detrimental to their well-being or not in line with the best interests of the child.”

Actions are also being taken against Poland in response to “the creation of so-called ‘LGBT-ideology free zones.’

The EU statement continued, “The Commission is concerned that these declarations may violate EU law regarding non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. It is therefore necessary to carry out a detailed analysis of the compatibility of the resolutions with EU law.”

The statement further criticised Poland for its lack of cooperation in providing information requested by the EU in relation to said ‘zones’.

The two Member States now have two months to respond to the EU legal action and the arguments put forward by the Commission. However, earlier this week the Hungarian government Justice Minister, Judit Varga, sent a letter to the Irish Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman, alongside other EU Ministers, defending their decision.

The letter stated, “Hungary is a free, sovereign country, which insists on its rights guaranteed in the EU Treaties; therefore, neither the Commission nor any other European body can dictate how Hungarian parents raise their children.”

Despite this, the EU have made it clear they intend to protect the LGBTQ+ community. In November last year, they presented their strategy for LGBTQ+ equality which sets out a series of targeted actions focused on “tackling discrimination; ensuring safety; building inclusive societies; and leading the call for LGBTIQ equality around the world”.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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