Hungary passes new anti-LGBTQ+ law targeting same-sex families

This comes at a time when several countries are joining the European Commission's court case against the nation for its "anti-LGBT propaganda" law.

The Hungary flag, where same-sex families are now facing further legal challenges.
Image: Via Pixabay

The parliament in Hungary has passed a new anti-LGBTQ+ law that gives citizens the right to report same-sex families with children to the authorities anonymously.

This new anti-LGBTQ+ bill was approved early last week, and it provides protections for people who report those who go against the “constitutionally recognised role of marriage and the family.” Hungary’s constitution enshrines protection for marriage as a union “between one man and one woman” and defines “the mother is a woman, the father a man,” meaning that it is essentially illegal for same-sex couples to raise a child.

Along with reprimanding same-sex families in Hungary for going against the constitution’s recognition of marriage and family, the law also allows citizens to report those who contest children’s rights “to an identity appropriate to their sex at birth.” In addition, the legislation covers an expansive range of measures to ensure authorities investigate all complaints from alleged workplace misconduct to corruption.

Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén proposed the bill in February 2023. With its passage, the legislation will now move to right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s office, where he is expected to sign it into law.

Orban’s government has worked to heavily curb the rights of the Hungarian LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, the country passed an “anti-LGBT propaganda” law, which bans all queer content for those under 18. The censorship law has faced intense backlash, with the European Commission launching legal action against it. On March 21, 2023, Ireland joined other EU member states, including Belgium, Spain and Portugal, in the case against Hungary.

The case that the European Commission brought has also seen support from the European Parliament, which recently voted to join it. According to the Commission, such legislation violates internal market rules, the fundamental rights of queer people and the core values of the EU.

In total, 15 countries have joined the case. It is expected to be the most extensive human rights infringement procedure ever brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In response to the publication of the Commission’s case, Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga announced a counterclaim to the Court of Justice of the European Union to defend the law on the grounds of education being a national matter.

In addition to the infringement case, Hungary has also had almost all of the €22 billion in cohesion funds earmarked for the nation withheld until it resolves its protection of human rights and the rule of law issues.

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