Brussels, July 16, 2021
The European Union announced yesterday that it is bringing legal action against Hungary and certain areas of Poland for their stances in defense of traditional family values, which the EU considers “violations of the fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people.”
The press release from the European Commission, the EU executive branch, begins with a quote from President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Parliament: ““Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised: be it because of whom they love, because of their age, their ethnicity, their political opinions, or their religious beliefs.”
Charges are being brought against Hungary for its recently adopted law that prohibits or limits access for minors to content that promotes gender ideology, sex changes, and homosexuality, and a law from January that requires a disclaimer to be put on children’s books with LGBTIQ content.
The release states that the EU is also concerned about the protection of minors, but “Hungary has failed to explain why the exposure of children to LGBTIQ content as such would be detrimental to their well-being or not in line with the best interests of the child.”
Regarding the children’s book disclaimers, the EU believes that “Hungary restricts the freedom of expression of authors and book publishers, and discriminates on grounds of sexual orientation in an unjustified way.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared last week that Hungary will not bow to the EU and will not repeal its laws.
Concerning Poland, the Commission believes “that Polish authorities failed to fully and appropriately respond to its inquiry regarding the nature and impact of the so-called ‘LGBT-ideology free zones’ resolutions adopted by several Polish regions and municipalities.”
The EU is concerned that the “zones,” which have cropped up since 2019, may violate the EU law on non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Polish authorities chose not to respond to most of the Commission’s questions sent in February.
The European Parliament declared the whole of the EU as a “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone” in March in response to the zones in Poland.
The two EU member states now have two months to respond to the Commission’s arguments, otherwise they could end up being referred to the EU Court of Justice.
Hungary also passed a law late last year that effectively bans same-sex adoption, and President Andrzej Duda promised last year to ban LGBT teaching in schools, saying LGBT ideology is worse than communism.
Last week, the European Court of Human Rights called on Russia to legalize gay marriage, though this would violate the Russian constitution.