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EU leaders confront Hungary’s Orban over LGBT + legislation

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The European Union has threatened Viktor Orban of Hungary with legal action in European Court of Justice, unless it abandons LGBT + legislation that the commission has defined as discriminatory.

Member States, including Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, will bring charges against the Hungarian prime minister at a European Union summit on Thursday for a bill banning homosexuality or sex reassignment from appearing on the material in schools for children under 18, according to several diplomats.

The clash comes amid growing tensions between EU countries and the nationalist government in Budapest, which has argued that issues of sexual orientation should not be taught in schools.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said the project, which requires final approval from the president of Hungary, violated fundamental rights.

“This project clearly discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation,” he said Wednesday. “It goes against the fundamental values ​​of the European Union: human dignity, equality and respect for human rights.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the “law is wrong” Wednesday.

Brussels and several EU capitals have intensified their condemnation of Orban’s right-wing government after years of tensions with Budapest over the rule of law. An EU diplomat said the LGBT + project reflected one of the “worst moments” in EU-Hungary relations.

In a letter to Budapest’s justice minister sent on Wednesday, EU commissioners Didier Reynders and Thierry Breton said Brussels would “not hesitate to act in line with its powers under the treaty” if the project receives final approval in its current form.

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The EU has limited powers to request amendments to draft legislation, but may bring into play Member States that violate their treaties with the ECJ. The commission’s letter lists the range of laws that are violated by Hungary’s LGBT + legislation, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, audio-visual and media regulation, and the rules governing the provision of services in the single market.

The commission said the bill de facto compares homosexuality and transgender issues as “on the same basis as pornography and is considered capable of exerting a negative influence on development”. physical and moral well-being of minors ”.

Budapest’s anti-LGBT + project has also raised tensions with the European football government Uefa, which has rejected a request from Monaco’s Allianz Arena to light up the stadium in rainbow colors for Wednesday’s match between Hungary and Germany. at the Euro 2020 football championship. Uefa claimed that the movement violated its ban on displaying political symbols given the “political context” in Hungary. Some German football fans, however, came up with rainbow colors for the game – which ended in a 2-2 draw, a result that saw Hungary finish the bottom of their group and turn it around. at home.

The Hungarian government has argued that the project was designed to “protect the rights of children, guarantee the rights of parents and does not apply to the sexual orientation rights of those over 18 years of age, so it does not contain elements discriminatory “.

“The statement by the chairman of the commission is a disgrace because it publishes a preliminary political opinion without an impartial inquiry conducted before,” a Fidesz government statement said.

A former EU diplomat said the countries would use Thursday’s summit to convince Orban to withdraw from the implementation of the project. “In the past, the Orban government has taken over the legislation. Hopefully this will be done quickly because u [LGBT+ bill] it’s beyond what we can accept. ”


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