European Commission to take case of Hungarian anti-LGBTQ+ law to court

The case will go to court because the anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda law violates "the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ people".

The case of the Hungarian anti-LGBTQ+ law to court. In the picture, the hand of a judge holding a gavel.
Image: Via Pexels - Ekaterina Bolovtsova

The European Commission is set to take the case of the Hungarian anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda law to the European Court of Justice. According to an opinion issued by the commission, the law in question breaches EU policies and Hungary failed to take appropriate action to rectify this.

Today, July 14, the Hungarian newspaper Nepszava announced that, according to multiple independent sources in Brussels, the law on anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda will be sent to the supreme court of the European Union, thus reaching the final stage of the infringement proceedings launched by the European Commission last year.

In June 2021, the Hungarian government passed legislation prohibiting the depiction of same-sex relationships and discussions on gender identity in media content aimed toward minors- the so-called anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda law. It attracted widespread criticism because it conflates homosexuality with pedophilia and generally stigmatises queer minorities.

A month after the law was passed, Hungary was formally notified that the European Commission was initiating infringement proceedings as the anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda law breached EU policies by violating the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ people.

Later that year, the Commission released a statement demanding that the country take action to rectify these breaches, or it would have brought the case to the European Court of Justice. The proceedings also entailed the freezing of EU funding to the country which, according to the conditionality mechanism, are dependent on whether the recipient complies with the key principles of EU membership.

In February this year, the European Court of Justice rejected a law challenge brought by Hungary against the EU conditionality mechanism, effectively leaving the country vulnerable to funding freezes.

Now, since Hungary failed to comply with the requests of the European Commission, the infringement proceedings will reach their final stage and the case of the anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda law will finally be sent to court.

Director of European LGBTQ+ organisation Forbidden Colours, Rémy Bonny, commented on the news saying: “One year after the introduction of the law, the European Commission is finally taking Hungary to court. Equality for the LGBTIQ+ community is an intrinsic part of European values and standards. This is not to be trifled with. If Orban prefers Moscow to Brussels, he should tell his citizens.”

“Lawyers are very clear: the law violates multiple EU laws. So we are sure that the European Court will annul this law. If Hungary refuses to abolish the law, very expensive fines can be imposed,” Bonny concluded.

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