Press Release: EFA’s opinion on Hungary’s Anti-LGBTQI+ Laws

EFA is deeply concerned by a recent spate of anti-LGBTQI+ action across EU Member States. 

The fundamental values of the European Union are clear: human dignity, equality, and fundamental human rights. The recent anti-LGBTQI+ bill in Hungary, banning the ‘display and promotion of homosexuality’ among under-18s clearly violates European Union values. Every European citizen has the right to live freely and without the risk of violence or hatred. 

Like many national minorities, the LGBTQI+ community is often threatened by the legal actions of the authorities: in 2021, this is not acceptable. EFA promotes a European Union in which every person, no matter their heritage, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation has the right to live their life and embrace their identity. 

EFA believes that LGBTQI+ voices and experiences need to be heard and affirmed. LGBTQI+ people are vulnerable and have historically experienced hostility and violence, and anti-LGBTQI laws – including this new bill – are a way for the fundamental rights of citizens to be wiped away. 

Laws against hate crime and hate speech need to be consistent and cover homophobia and transphobia in all EU member states. EFA campaigns for rights and equality by calling for safe and inclusive education, supporting an inclusive understanding of family, building cross-cultural solidarity and including youth perspectives. Currently in the EU, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is only prohibited in the field of employment. We want to see this expanded to other areas like healthcare, education, social protection and access to goods and services.

EFA is pleased to see such strong condemnation from EU Member States. 14 EU Member States have come together to voice their disapproval of the Hungarian law. 

“[The law] represents a flagrant form of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and hence deserves to be condemned. Inclusion, human dignity and equality are core values of our European Union, and we cannot compromise on these principles,” the countries said.

“Stigmatizing LGBTIQ persons constitute a clear breach of their fundamental right to dignity, as provided for in the EU Charter and international law.”

A strong response, too, came from Ursula Von Der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. 

‘This Hungarian bill is a shame. It discriminates people on the basis of their sexual orientation & goes against the EU’s fundamental values,’ she stated. 

‘We will not compromise. I will use all the legal powers of the European Commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed.’ 

EFA stands behind the Commission and the 14 Member States who have voiced their disapproval of this law, and looks forward – with urgency – to further action from the EU against Hungary in this regard.