European Parliament joins lawsuit against Hungary over anti-gay law

March 21. 2023. – 01:06 PM



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The European Parliament's (EP) Legal Affairs Committee decided on Tuesday that the representative body would join the European Commission's (EC) lawsuit against Hungary over its legal provisions violating gay rights, Népszava reports.

Following the committee's decision, the EP's legal department will prepare the documents to be submitted to the court. In theory, EP President Roberta Metsola could still challenge the decision, but according to Népszava's information, this is unlikely.

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Last December, the European Commission filed an action against Hungary with the European Court of Justice for failure to fulfil obligations over the country's "paedophile law", which included anti-LGBTQ clauses and was adopted in the summer of 2021.

Infringement proceedings have already been launched against the Hungarian provision, but these have not been successful, thus the European Commission has referred the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Earlier, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal have already indicated their intention to support the Commission's position in the case. According to Népszava's sources, it is not unlikely that Germany and France will also announce their involvement in the near future.

The European Commission is asking the EU Court of Justice to rule that Hungary has breached its obligations under EU law by adopting amendments to the law on tougher action against paedophile offenders and the protection of children.

Among other things, the Hungarian law bans the presentation of homosexuality, gender reassignment or "sexuality for its own sake" to children under 18, and may restrict or exclude certain NGOs from sex education and other school programs. The European Commission turned to the EU Court of Justice over prohibitions and restrictions in relation to the promotion and/or displaying of self-identification differing from one's sex at birth, gender reassignment and homosexuality.

The ECJ has already annulled several Hungarian laws: the Lex CEU and the Stop Soros Act have been subject to such proceedings. But before this can happen, a lengthy legal procedure, often lasting years must take place, aiming to decide whether the legislation is compatible with EU law. So even if the anti-gay amendment is not withdrawn by the Hungarian parliament and the case is taken to the EU Court of Justice, it will be years before we see a result.

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