Ireland to join EU court case against Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ law

Ireland would be among the first EU countries to join the infringement procedure against Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda law.

Ireland to join EU case against Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ law. In the photo, a group of people marching at Budapest Pride, carrying a banner and waving flags.
Image: Via Twitter - @RenewEurope

Later this month, the Government is set to receive a memo seeking approval for Ireland to join the European Commission’s court case against Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law. Ireland would be among the first EU countries to join what is expected to be the largest human rights infringement procedure ever brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

As reported by the Irish Times, by the end of the month, the Irish government will receive the memo, which will be taken by Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin. If approved, it will be the first time the nation has joined the European Commission in legal action of this kind.

Last month, the Official Journal of the EU published a summary of the case brought by the Commission against Hungary because of its so-called “anti-LGBT propaganda” law, which prohibits the portrayal of LGBTQ+ issues and identities in content destined to minors. According to the Commission, the law violates internal market rules, the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ people and the core values of the European Union.

The publication of the infringement procedure opened a six-week window during which all EU member states were invited to join the case against Hungary and submit “written observations” to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Belgium was the first country to announce that it will take part in the proceedings against Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law, and now Ireland, together with Luxembourg and the Netherlands, is also expected to seek inclusion in the legal action.


The National LGBT Federation (NXF), GCN’s governing board, has “strongly welcomed” the news, with Adam Long stating: “This piece of state-sanctioned homophobia, modelled directly on similar legislation enacted in Putin’s Russia, flies in the face of European laws and values and has absolutely no place in our EU.

“We worked closely with political allies to ensure that Ireland was one of the first countries to join the lawsuit. Indeed Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin strongly condemned the homophobic law when he spoke with me as part of our NXF Pride Series Interviews,” the Board Director added.

As mentioned by Long, senior figures in the Irish government, such as Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, have strongly stated their opposition to the Hungarian law, saying it was a “Russian-style anti-LGBT propaganda law”. During an EU Council meeting in June 2021, Martin addressed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, telling him that the law “will harm young people, will suppress the rights of young people”.

On March 8, Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga announced that she had submitted a counterclaim to the Court of Justice of the European Union to defend their law against the Commission’s proceedings, arguing that education was a matter for national governments to decide.

In a speech last month, Orbán also defended the anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda law, saying: “Gender propaganda is not just… rainbow chatter, but the greatest threat stalking our children. We want our children to be left alone. This kind of thing has no place in Hungary, and especially not in our schools.”

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