Euopean Commission takes legal action against Hungary, Poland for LGBT policies

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The European Commission on Thursday announced it will take legal action against Hungary and Poland for recently enacted anti-LGBT policies.

The Commission said in a statement that it is launching infringement procedures over actions in Hungary targeting children’s exposure to LGBT content, as well as “LGBT-ideology free zones” adopted by Polish municipalities.

The countries have two months to respond to the legal action.

Late last month, Hungary passed a law banning the distribution of content in schools that officials say “promote homosexuality.” Students under the age of 18 are not allowed to see any content that “encourages” homosexuality.

Several members of the European Union, including Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Ireland and Belgium, have condemned the Hungarian law. 

The Commission said that while the protection of a minor is a “legitimate public interest,” Hungary has not explained why exposing children to LGBTQ content would be “detrimental to their well-being or not in line with the best interests of the child.”

The Commission is also going after Hungary for demanding in January that a children’s book presenting LGBT people to include a disclaimer that the book depicts “behavior deviating from traditional gender roles.” The Commission said the disclaimer equates to restricting the rights of freedom of expression and nondiscrimination.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on a state radio program Friday that the Commission’s actions were “legalized hooliganism,” according to The Associated Press. He added the “European Commission’s stance is shameful.”

Meanwhile, The Commission said Poland “failed to fully and appropriately” respond to past inquiries about the nature of the “LGBT-ideology free zones.”

The Commission accused Poland of “hampering the Commission’s ability to exercise its powers,” and “failing to comply with the principle of sincere cooperation,” in violation of EU law.

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

Tags anti-LGBT European Commission European Union Human rights Hungary LGBTQ rights Poland
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