LGBTQ+ groups urge Irish government to join EU case against Hungary

Representatives from GCN and the National LGBT Federation are among the 34 signatures on the open letter addressed to Micheál Martin.

EU and Hungary flag flying side-by-side.
Image: Shutterstock

Over 30 organisations are urging the Irish government to join the European Commission’s ongoing court case against Hungary for its so-called “anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda” law. The groups’ signatures are attached to an open letter addressed to Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, which was published today, March 15.

Spearheaded by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the document outlines the current situation surrounding the legislation in Hungary and the resulting legal proceedings with the Commission. The case is now at a stage where EU member states are being invited to send written observations to the Court of Justice of the European Union by March 27 and join the infringement procedure, expected to be the largest ever of its kind.

The letter requests that Ireland join the likes of Belgium in being included on the list of nations standing up for LGBTQ+ people in Hungary and beyond, stating that “respect for dignity and human rights are core values” of EU membership. While reports indicate that the government is expected to get on board, the ICCL is seeking confirmation from the Foreign Affairs department.

Representatives from GCN and The National LGBT Federation (NXF) are among the document’s 34 signees, in addition to those from Intersex Ireland, GOSHH, Gay Health Network, GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Dublin Pride, Pavee Point, Belong To, Outhouse, LGBT Ireland, TENI and more.


In reference to Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law that prohibits the portrayal of queer issues and identities in content aimed at minors, Adam Long of the NXF stated: “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 the EU.”

He added that Micheál Martin “strongly condemned the homophobic law” in the NXF Pride Series Interviews, and furthermore, the Tánaiste previously told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that the legislation “will harm young people, will suppress the rights of young people.”

In a speech in February, Orbán defended the 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.”

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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