Hungary’s new Anti-LGBT Bill Receives Sharp Criticism From EU
On 15 June, Hungary’s parliament passed a new law that banned schools from addressing and promoting LGBT awareness, which advanced Hungary’s radical approach to homosexuality due to nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party’s conservative traditionalist views.
In order to garner support in the parliament to pass the bill, Orban’s ruling party attached the LGBT ban to a wider legislation penalising paedophilia which thus rendered it difficult to vote against. In addition, any sex education given in schools has to be approved by the government through selected organizations, thus limiting the possibility of informing young people.
“The Hungarian bill is a shame,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to reporters in Brussels. “”I have instructed my responsible commissioners to write to the Hungarian authorities expressing our legal concerns before the bill enters into force.”
EU representatives in Brussels have dictated that the bill clearly stands in full violation of what the member organisation stands for as a whole. Many countries including Germany, France, Netherlands and Sweden have spoken against Hungary’s actions, invoking serious condemnation towards Orban and his party.
“The European Union is not primarily a single market or a currency union. We are a community of values, these values bind us all,” said German Minister of State Michael Roth.
“There should be absolutely no doubt that minorities, sexual minorities too, must be treated respectfully,” he added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel this Wednesday also criticised the new law, saying that she thinks it “is wrong and also not compatible with my ideas,” as she spoke to the German parliament.
To make matters worse, Europe’s governing football body, UEFA, rejected a request to display pride colors during a European Championship football match in Munich. The city asked the governing body to put up rainbow colors ahead of the group stage match between Germany and Hungary, however UEFA rejected the request citing it to be ‘too political.’
“Given the political context of this specific request — a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national Parliament — UEFA must decline this request,” stated UEFA in a public announcement.
Orban responded to the drawing criticism from fellow EU states, standing firm in his government’s decision to prevent Hungary from progressing in its path to LGBT rights.
“The recently adopted Hungarian bill protects the rights of children, guarantees 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 any discriminatory elements,” said the Prime Minister in a statement.
However, Von der Leyen remains firm that the EU will do everything in its power to prevent the bill from materializing, emphasising that she “believes in a European Union where you are free to love whom you want.”
“And I believe in a European Union that embraces diversity, this is the foundation of our values,” said the president in a news conference. “So I will use all the powers of the Commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed – whoever you are and wherever you live.”
“Viktor Orban – World Economic Forum on Europe 2011” by World Economic Forum is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0