Europe

European Commission sues Hungary over anti-LGBTI law

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The European Commission is taking Hungary to the European Court of Justice over laws that discriminate based on people’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Friday July 15 announcement comes after Budapest passed its controversial national legislation last summer.

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This law prohibits the showing of homosexual or gender reassignment content to those under the age of 18 in school sex education programs or in media that reaches minors.

The far-right Hungarian government says it is meant to protect children from paedophiles.

He then sought to hold a referendum on the issue, but failed to muster enough votes for it to be valid.

EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton asked for an explanation in a letter sent to the Hungarian authorities in June 2021.

The commission said Hungary’s response did not address the issues raised in its letter.

The committee then sent another letter the following December asking how the Hungarian law complied with EU law.

But a commission spokesman told reporters in Brussels that Hungary had not answered their questions.

“It looks like Hungry has no plans to fix the situation,” he said.

The committee says the law violates internal market rules, data protection rights and several fundamental rights in the EU’s bill of rights.

‘Historical’

French Liberal MEP Pierre Karleskind, in a statement, called the committee’s decision historic.

“For the first time ever, the commission has brought an LGBTI-related offense case to court, which shows the case is being taken seriously,” he said.

Similar comments were made by German Green Terry Reinkte.

She said Hungarian law had eroded people’s mental and physical health as well as their trust in the state to protect their dignity.

The two MEPs lead the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup, an informal forum that defends the rights of the community.

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