EU Commission takes Hungary to court in effort to overturn LGBTQ law

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The European Commission took Hungary to court on Friday to contest a Hungarian law banning the provision of LGBTQ content to minors.

Hungary's so-called "anti-paedophilia" law which, among other things, bans the "promotion" of homosexuality and gender reassignment to under-18s, came into effect last year, despite warnings from Brussels and EU leaders.

"The Commission considers that the law violates the internal market rules, the fundamental rights of individuals (in particular LGBTQ people) as well as . . . EU values," a statement said.

The EU Court of Justice can impose fines and financial penalties for non-compliance with its decisions.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen described the legislation as a "disgrace" and the EU executive launched the procedure in July 2021.

Hungary's nationalist and conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban claims that the law is not homophobic and is simply intended to "protect the rights of children".

The Commission is also suing Hungary over the national regulator's decision to take independent radio station Klubradio off the air. This was seen as a further blow to media pluralism in the country.

"In the EU, the world's leading democracy, no free radio station should be taken off the air for non-objective reasons on the basis of a discriminatory administrative procedure," said EU commissioner Thierry Breton.

Hungary was again singled out in the Commission's latest report on the rule of law in the EU, presented on Wednesday.

Brussels has also triggered a procedure that could lead to the suspension of European funds to the country, because of failures by Budapest to fight corruption.

(With AFP)

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