EU Commission takes Hungarian anti-LGBTIQ+ law to Luxembourg Court

EU Commission continues infringement procedure

The European Commission just announced that it will take the Hungarian Government to the European Court of Justice over its anti-LGBTIQ+ law. The law, which went into force exactly one year ago, outlaws the LGBTIQ+ community and links LGBTIQ+ persons with pedophiles. European LGBTIQ+ organisation Forbidden Colours  applauds .

In June last year, the Hungarian government announced the introduction of an anti-LGBTIQ+ propaganda law. The law would prohibit any promotion of LGBTIQ+ equality to minors. The law went into force on July 15th, 2021. A similar law, introduced in Russia in 2013, took away the civil rights of the LGBTIQ+ community. There was a lot of pressure on the Hungarian government from the European Council, but the law was not abolished. 

That the law is now taken to Court is a sign the European Commission is done with Hungary’s undemocratic leadership, according to Forbidden Colours’ Rémy Bonny. Forbidden Colours was the organisation that broke the news internationally in June 2021 about Hungary’s anti-LGBTIQ+ law and campaigned strongly against it.

Forbidden Colours’ Executive Director Rémy Bonny: “As LGBTIQ+ movement, we have been warning for Orban’s pro-Russian policies for over a decade. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, it became more and more clear: Orban chooses Moscow over Brussels. An EU Member State introducing Russian laws is more than ever not done. Orban’s scapegoating of LGBTIQ+ communities is a prelude to the introduction of a  pro-Russian dictatorship. The European Commission finally puts a hold on these gross human rights violations.

Legal experts are very clear: the law violates several EU laws. So we are sure that the European Court will annul this law. If Hungary refuses to abolish the law, very expensive fines may be imposed.“, Bonny concludes about the Commission’s chances at the CJEU.   

What was Hungary’s anti-LGBTIQ+ law about again?

The Hungarian anti-LGBTIQ+ propaganda law, officially called the “The Amendments to the Child Protection Act, the Family Protection Act, the Act on Business Advertising Activity, the Media Act and the Public Education Act”, was adopted on June 15th, 2021, by the Hungarian Parliament, and went into force a month after. Besides its vague wording, it specifically prohibits to discuss LGBTIQ+ content in schools and television. The law resembled Russia’s anti-LGBTIQ+ law.

The law led to international outrage, led by the BeNeLux countries. Before a European Council, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte asked Hungary’s Viktor Orban “whether he’s willing to leave the EU“.

In April 2022, the Orban-government organised a referendum about the law (at the same time of the general parliamentary elections). After an extensive campaign by human rights organisations to vote invalidly, the referendum was nullified. 

Over the last months, several politicians within Orban’s ranks spoke about going a step further in the government’s anti-LGBTIQ+ policies.

In an interview with Hungary’s propaganda magazine Mandiner State Secretary Róbert Répássy said he like to go a step further in banning LGBTIQ+ propaganda. Another pro-Orban propaganda newspaper, Magyar Nemzet, published an op-ed calling for the ban of Budapest Pride. 

Budapest Pride is set to take place next week on July 23th. The organisers expect 35.000 persons.

Forbidden Colours is one of the main sponsors of Budapest Pride, and Rémy Bonny will join a delegation of the European Parliament visiting the event.