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EU commission takes Hungary to court over LGBTQ law

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The European Commission took Hungary to EU court on Friday over a law banning LGBTQ content to minors and the closure of independent radio station Klubradio.

Hungary’s so-called “anti-paedophilia” law, which among other things bans the “promotion” of homosexuality and gender reassignment to under-18s, came into force last year despite many warnings from Brussels and pushback by 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 has called it a “disgrace” and the EU executive launched the procedure in July 2021.

Hungary nationalist and conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban assures that the law is not homophobic and aims to “protect the rights of children”.

The Commission is also suing Hungary in court 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 and Brussels launched an infringement procedure on this issue in June 2021.

“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 EU funds to the country, due to shortfalls by Budapest on fighting corruption.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.




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