Hungary has two months to rectify anti-LGBTQ+ law, says EU

On behalf of the EU, the European Commission has started the second phase of infringement action against Hungary for its discriminatory law.

Hungary flag against a blue sky

Yesterday, December 2, the EU released a statement, doubling down on its position regarding the anti-LGBTQ+ law in Hungary.

The amendment which was adopted on 23 June prohibits the “portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality”.

This move has been widely condemned by the European Commission, which has taken legal action against Hungary for “violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people.”

“Hungary,” the Commission says, “has not shown how restrictions in its legislative amendments are duly justified, non-discriminatory, and proportionate.”

The country was formally notified of the infringement proceedings on July 15, 2021, and now the European Commission has moved to the next phase of the process by issuing a letter known as a “reasoned opinion”.

The letter outlines the elements of Hungarian law that breach EU policies and demands that these be rectified. With the EU being previously dissatisfied with the “insufficient” response from Hungary, the country now has two months to take action in rectifying these breaches, or the Commission will refer the case to the CJEU.

“The amendments are an attack on children’s rights as well as the rights of LGBTI people,” said Katrin Hugendubel, Advocacy Director with Europe’s leading LGBTI organisation, ILGA-Europe. “Contrary to the amendments reflecting the will of the people, support for LGBTI equality is growing in Hungary.”

“The EC is right to hold the Hungarian government accountable to the Treaties, and should not hesitate to see this through, including by bringing Hungary in front of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU),” Hugendubel goes on to say.

The legal action taken by the EU has previously been called political “blackmail” by Peter Szijjarto, Foreign Minister and one of Hungary’s top diplomats, as the executive commission put a hold on billions that had been intended as economic recovery funds for Hungary. He also maintains that the amendment in question has been put in place to protect children from “homosexual propaganda“.

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