Petr Dubinsky

Von der Leyen Vows EU Will Fight Hungary’s Anti-LGBTQ+ Law

The European Commission has pledged to take action against a Hungarian law bans portraying homosexuality and gender transitioning in content for minors. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and a member of his cabinet, Justice Minister Judit Varg, rejected the criticism.

“The Hungarian bill is a shame,” von der Leyen von der Leyen said Wednesday morning in Brussels,

“I have instructed the responsible Commissioners to write a letter to the Hungarian authorities expressing our legal concerns before the law enters into force,” she said. According to her, the EU does not intend to compromise on principles such as human dignity, equality, and respect for human rights.

“I have said before that I believe in a European Union where you have the freedom to be anyone and love anyone. I believe in a Europe that embraces diversity,” von der Leyen said, adding that “she will use all the powers the Commission has to make sure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed “.

The European Commission has been called upon by 17 states to intervene against Hungarian law. The creation of a joint declaration was initiated by Belgium and later signed by Italy, Greece, Austria, and Cyprus. The Czechia is not among them.

Orbán, on the other hand, called von der Leyen’s remarks “shameful.” “The recently adopted Hungarian law protects the interests of children, guarantees the rights of parents and does not concern the rights of sexual orientation for people over the age of 18, so it does not contain any discriminatory elements,” the Hungarian prime minister said in a statement.

According to MTI, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varg said in response to a joint statement from the states that, as several times in the past, the Hungarian regulation is being criticized without the signatories studying it, and so the criticism contains completely unfounded false claims. Hungarian law has nothing to do with EU law. The anti-pedophilia law does not discriminate against anyone and does not impose any restrictions on freedom of speech, the minister said, according to the MTI agency.

The controversial law was approved by Hungarian deputies on June 15 and is expected to be signed soon by the Hungarian president and close Orban’s ally János Áder.

The legal norm is an amendment to the law, which affects pedophilia. It also contains additions that prohibit the display of any sexual orientation other than heterosexual and gender reassignment in school curricula, as well as in films and advertisements targeting people under the age of 18. According to the government, the aim of the ban is “healthy physical and mental development of children”.

Hungarian and foreign activists and human rights groups have condemned the law as discriminatory against the LGBT community (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people). Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also criticized the law. Germany is one of the countries that have joined the Joint Declaration of the European States.

“I think the law is wrong and not compatible with my views,” the chancellor told the lower house of the German parliament today, rejecting the legal norm politically.