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15 EU countries to take legal action over Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ laws

Ireland is one of the countries, and the European Parliament has also joined the suit.

FIFTEEN OF THE EU’s 27 member states are backing legal action by Brussels against Hungary over a law Budapest has passed that is deemed discriminatory against LGBQT+ people.

France and Germany added their names yesterday to the list supporting the lawsuit brought by the European Commission to the Court of Justice of the EU.

The other EU countries ranged against Hungary’s contentious law are Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The European Parliament has also joined the suit.

With the extensive line-up against Hungary, the lawsuit is “the largest human rights case in EU legal history,” a Belgian rights group, Forbidden Colours, said today.

A French lawmaker in the European Parliament, Pierre Karleskind, who is on the legislature’s LGBTI intergroup, said it and the 15 EU countries backing the action “are clearly on the side of freedom”.

Budapest was infuriated when Finland joined the growing list just after Hungary’s parliament had approved Finland becoming NATO’s newest member.

“Our Finnish friends still have a lot to learn about fairness,” a junior foreign minister, Tamas Menczer, told Hungary’s M1 Television.

Sweden’s bid to join NATO is still on hold, awaiting approval from Hungary and Turkey.

Hungary introduced its controversial law in 2021, forbidding the “representation or promotion” to minors of homosexuality or gender change.

The legislation was met with outrage by LGBT+ activists and many politicians in other EU countries, who saw it as an attack on LGBT+ rights and recognition.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke of the “shame” the law cast.

Her executive opened formal proceedings against Budapest for alleged violation of core EU precepts of non-discrimination and fundamental rights, as well as undermining single market rules on services and audiovisual media.

That led to the matter being taken to the Court of Justice of the EU in December last year.

By associating themselves with the lawsuit against Hungary, the EU countries and parliament are able to present legal arguments in support of the commission’s challenge.

© AFP 2023

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