European Commission will sue Hungary for Anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination and radio censorship
Europe Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
On the 15th of July, the European Commission announced it had referred Hungary to the European Court of Justice in relation to the Hungarian law discriminating LGBTQIA+ persons. The law, introduced in June 2021, particularly aims at limiting the diffusion of content that “promotes or portrays divergence from self- identity corresponding to sex as birth, sex change or homosexuality” (European Commission, 2022). In this sense, the law prohibits companies from propagating videos showing LGBTQIA+ people in advertising content intended for children. This is the latest development in a series of exchanges between the European institutions and Hungary. A year before, on the 15th of July 2021, the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Hungary. As the government failed to implement any of the changes regarding equality and the protection of sexual orientation and gender identity demanded by the Commission, the latter sent a reasoned opinion to Hungary on the 2nd of December 2021. A decision of the Court of Justice on this matter could impact the situation of many LGBTQIA+ individuals in Hungary. As of today, Hungary remains one of the European states that has not legalized same-sex marriage or adoption nor the right of trans persons to change their gender lawfully.
In addition, the Commission’s referral to the Court also concerns the refusal to renew Klubradio broadcasting licence. During the infringement procedure, the Commission established that this refusal was not justified and lacked transparency. Klubradio was known for broadcasting opinions contrary to those of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and openly criticizing the policies adopted by the Hungarian government. The Commission reiterated its support to combatting attacks on the freedom of independent media outlets.
Sources and further readings:
European Commission. (2022, July 15). Commission refers Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU over violation of LGBTIQ rights, Press Release. Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_2689
Baczynska, G., & Campenhout, C. (2022, July 15). EU executive will sue Hungary over LGBT law, radio broadcaster. Reuters. Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-commission-sue-hungary-over-anti-lgbt-law-politico-2022-07-15/
Al Jazeera. (2022, July 15). European Commission sues Hungary over anti-LGBTQ law. LGBTQ News | Al Jazeera. Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/15/european-commission-sues-hungary-over-anti-lgbtq-law
Staff, J. H. W. (2022, July 16). European Commission to sue Hungary for anti-LGBT discrimination and radio censorship. JURIST - News. Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/07/european-commission-to-sue-hungary-for-anti-lgbt-discrimination-and-radio-censorship/