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In Hungary And Poland The Eu Has Begun Legal Action To Protect Lgbt Rights

On Thursday, the European Commission filed a lawsuit against Hungary over policies it claimed discriminated against LGBT individuals.

The decision could have an impact on Budapest’s post-pandemic support from the EU.

The European Union’s executive began a case against Poland on the same day, after some of its regions and municipalities declared themselves “LGBT-ideology free zones.”

Infringement actions are the first step in a legal process to compel member states to comply with EU legislation.

Hungary and Poland have two months to react, after which the Commission may refer them to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

“Equality, respect for dignity, and human rights are key values of the EU,” the Commission said, “and it will use all the instruments at its disposal to protect these values.” Gergely Gulyas, the chief of staff of Hungary’s prime minister, said on Thursday that arguments over the new law should not interfere with the distribution of Hungary’s recovery money.

Yet, many of Viktor Orban’s EU critics want the Commission to exert maximum pressure on Budapest to repeal the law by threatening to withhold billions of euros in post-pandemic EU stimulus money until the law is repealed.

The EU’s move against Hungary comes after Orban signed a law prohibiting schools from disseminating materials that promote homosexuality.

Orban stated that the rule is not intended to defend gays, but rather to safeguard children, whose parents should take the lead in sexuality education.

The rule has sparked protests, with the European Commission’s chief, Ursula von der Leyen, calling it a “disgrace.”

Orban, who previously stated that the LGBT issue is a matter of national sovereignty, did not respond immediately.

He also accused Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of “moral supremacy” rooted in the country’s colonial heritage a few weeks ago.

In the run-up to a difficult election in April 2022, Orban has become more radical in his defense of what he claims are traditional Christian values against Western modernity.

The European Commission said it took action against Poland over “LGBT-free zones” because it had not received enough information from Warsaw and was concerned that they would violate EU legislation.

The Polish government has disputed the existence of laws discriminating against persons based on their sexual orientation.

Yet, the right-wing ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) claims that LGBT rights endanger traditional lifestyles in one of Europe’s most Catholic countries.

Reuters contributed reporting.

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