25th Sep 2022

EU Commission sues Hungary over anti-LGBTI law

  • The Hungarian government, led by prime minister Viktor Orban, is being taken to the European Court of Justice (Photo: Council of the European Union)
Listen to article

The European Commission is taking Hungary to the European Court of Justice for laws that discriminate due to people's sexual orientation and gender identity.

The announcement on Friday (15 July) comes after Budapest passed its controversial domestic legislation last summer.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

That law bans showing homosexual content or gender change to under-18s in school sex-education programmes or media that reaches minors.

The hard-right Hungarian government says it is intended to protect children against paedophiles.

It then sought to have a referendum on the issue but failed to muster enough votes for it to be valid.

Both EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders and EU's internal market commissioner Thierry Breton asked for explanations in a letter sent to Hungarian authorities in June 2021.

The commission said Hungary's response failed to address the issues raised in their letter.

The commission then sent another letter the following December asking how the Hungarian law complies with EU law.

But a commission spokesperson told reporters in Brussels that Hungary had failed to respond to its queries.

"It seems that Hungry does not plan to correct the situation," he said.

The commission says the law violates internal market rules, data protection rights, and several fundamental rights in the EU charter of rights.


French liberal MEP Pierre Karleskind, in a statement, described the commission's move as historic.

"For the first time ever, the commission took an LGBTI-related infringement procedure to Court, which shows that the matter is being taken seriously," he said.

Similar comments were made by German Green Terry Reinkte.

She said the Hungarian law had eroded the mental and physical health of people as well as their trust in the state to protect their dignity.

Both MEPs lead the European Parliament's LGBTI intergroup, an informal forum that defends the rights of the community.

Hungary passes anti-LGBTIQ bill ahead of 2022 election

Thousands of protestors demonstrated against the proposals in Budapest in front of the parliament this week, denouncing the Orbán government's efforts to conflate homosexuality with paedophilia.

Orbán counters EU by calling referendum on anti-LGBTI law

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has announced a referendum on his country's controversial new anti-LGBTIQ law - in response to criticism from the European Union which called the new legislation discriminatory.


How can Serbia ban EuroPride yet still hope to join EU?

Bowing to pressure from radical-nationalist groups and the deeply-conservative Orthodox Church, Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić announced last week EuroPride 2022 would be cancelled –– even though he legally lacks the authority to do so.

News in Brief

  1. More Russians now crossing Finnish land border
  2. Report: EU to propose €584bn energy grid upgrade plan
  3. Morocco snubs Left MEPs probing asylum-seeker deaths
  4. EU urges calm after Putin's nuclear threat
  5. Council of Europe rejects Ukraine 'at gunpoint' referendums
  6. Lithuania raises army alert level after Russia's military call-up
  7. Finland 'closely monitoring' new Russian mobilisation
  8. Flights out of Moscow sell out after Putin mobilisation order

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  3. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  5. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling

Latest News

  1. Ireland joins EU hawks on Russia, as outrage spreads
  2. Editor's weekly digest: Plea for support edition
  3. Investors in renewables face uncertainty due to EU profits cap
  4. How to apply the Nuremberg model for Russian war crimes
  5. 'No big fish left' for further EU sanctions on Russians
  6. Meloni's likely win will not necessarily strengthen Orbán
  7. France latest EU member to step up government spending in 2023
  8. Big Tech now edges out Big Energy in EU lobbying

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us