Von der Leyen launches legal action against Viktor Orban’s anti-LGBT+ legislation.
THE European Commission will file a lawsuit against Viktor Orban’s Hungary for violating EU laws by enacting an anti-LGBT+ bill.
The right-wing government has passed legislation prohibiting schools from using materials that are perceived to promote homosexuality. Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, stated earlier this month that if Hungary did not back down, it would face the full weight of EU law, though she did not elaborate.
Officials close to the EU executive informed Reuters that the Commission will send two letters to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán today as the first step in launching legal action against the country.
Mr. Orban will have two months to answer.
The Commission will argue in one of the letters that Budapest’s rules infringe the right to freedom of expression and information.
The second letter will address a requirement that a children’s book publisher include a disclaimer stating that the book depicts “behaviour deviating from standard gender roles.”
The EU executive will claim that the rule violates the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices.
At a recent EU summit, EU leaders slammed the anti-LGBTQ+ rules, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte asking Budapest to either accept Brussels’ tolerance ideals or quit the 27-nation club.
Mr. Orban, Hungary’s prime leader since 2010 and up for re-election next year, has become more conservative and belligerent in championing what he calls traditional Catholic values in the face of liberal Western pressure.
His government claims that the law is not intended to defend gays, but rather to safeguard children, who should be educated about sexuality by their parents.
Several major European newspapers declined to carry a sponsored ad signed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban last month, claiming that they did not want to provide space to a politician they accuse of undermining human rights and press freedom.
The one-page advertisement claims that Brussels is constructing a “super-state,” denounces the “European Empire,” demands for the strengthening of national legislatures, and opposes more European integration.
“The European Parliament has proven to be a dead end, representing only its own ideological and institutional interests. The importance of national legislatures must be emphasized, according to the advertisement.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” commented Herman Grech, editor in chief of The Times of Malta, which did not carry the ad.