The Jerusalem Post

EU sues two states over LGBT rights


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s executive stepped up its battle with Hungary and Poland over the rights of LGBTQ+ people on Thursday, launching legal cases that could land the two eastern European member states in the bloc’s highest court.

“Equality and the respect for dignity and human rights are core values of the EU... The Commission will use all the instrument­s at its disposal to defend these values,” the European Commission said in a statement.

The action against Hungary related to a new law that bans schools from using materials deemed as promoting homosexual­ity – legislatio­n which has set Prime Minister Viktor Orban on a collision course with rights groups.

Critics say the law wrongly conflates pedophilia and pornograph­y with LGBTQ+ issues and infringes on human rights. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called it a “disgrace.”

There was no immediate reaction from Hungary. Orban has in the past said the LGBTQ+ issue is a matter of national sovereignt­y.

The premier, who is facing a tough election next year, has grown increasing­ly radical on social policy to protect what he says are traditiona­l Christian values from Western liberalism.

The Commission also took aim at Hungary’s consumer protection body for obliging the publisher of a children’s book presenting LGBTQ+ people to include a disclaimer that it depicts forms of “behavior deviating from traditiona­l gender roles.”

The action against Poland related to the decision by some regions and municipali­ties to declare themselves “LGBT-ideology free zones,” and the authoritie­s’ failure to respond to inquiries on this matter, the Commission said.

Poland’s government in June denied having any laws that discrimina­ted against people based on their sexual orientatio­n.

The governing Law and Justice (PiS) Party has repeatedly clashed with the EU over democratic values as it brought courts and media under more state control and rejected immigratio­n from the Middle East and Africa.

Hungary and Poland have two months to respond, failing to do so with the Commission may refer them to the EU’s Court of Justice.

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