- 14 Mar 23
Belgium was the first country to declare its intention to join the court case against Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ law.
The government is expected to receive a memo requesting Ireland join the European Commission's court case against Hungary's "anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda" law. Among the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Ireland would be one of the first EU countries to join the case. The lawsuit is regarded as one of the most serious human rights violation cases ever brought before the European Union's Court of Justice.
According to the Irish Times, the Irish government will receive the memo by the end of March, which will be taken by Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin. With an agreement to join the court case, it will be the first time Ireland has joined the European Commission in legal action of this kind.
The anti-LGBTQ+ law was approved by the Hungarian Parliament in July 2021, despite widespread condemnation from queer and human rights organisations. The law prohibits the coverage of LGBTQ+ issues in the media and for companies to run campaigns in support of queer people.
In addition, only officially registered individuals and organisations are allowed to provide sexual education classes in schools. The law further prohibits the "portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth [as well as] the change of sex and homosexuality."
As a result, the EU and US consider the amendments to be discriminatory anti-LGBT restrictions. The EU's Official Journal claims that the law violates internal market rules, LGBTQ+ people's fundamental rights, and European Union core values.
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Following the publication of the infringement proceedings, all EU member states were invited to join the case against Hungary and asked to submit "written observations" to the Court of Justice of the European Union within six weeks.
Strongly welcoming the news, the National LGBT Federation‘s (NXF) Board Director, Adam Long, stated: "This piece of state-sanctioned homophobia, modelled directly on similar legislation enacted in Putin's Russia, flies in the face of European laws and values and has absolutely no place in our EU."
"We worked closely with political allies to ensure that Ireland was one of the first countries to join the lawsuit. Indeed, Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin strongly condemned the homophobic law when he spoke with me as part of our NXF Pride Series Interviews," the Board Director added.
In June 2021, a month before the Hungarian law was passed, Mr Martin addressed Hungary‘s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during a EU Council meeting, noticing that the law "will harm young people [and] suppress the rights of young people."
To defend the law against the Commission‘s proceedings, the Hungarian Minister Judith Varga announced that she had submitted a counterclaim to the European Court of Justice on March 8th, arguing that education is an issue for the national government to decide.
Prime Minister Orbán further defended the law by saying that "gender propaganda is not just… rainbow chatter, but the greatest threat stalking our children. We want our children to be left alone. This kind of thing has no place in Hungary, and especially not in our schools."
And we can now add Ireland to what promises to be the biggest ever human rights case taken to European Court of Justice (ECJ).
No to Putin style homophobia in our 🇪🇺 @GCNmag @LGBTIintergroup @RemyBonny @eurireland 🏳️🌈🇪🇺 https://t.co/GErlGkoVlw
— Adam Long 🏳️🌈🇪🇺 (@adamlong80) March 14, 2023