‘We will not compromise on values’: European Commission chief blasts Hungarian ‘LGBT promotion’ law, threatens retaliation

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to use all her power to fight against a controversial Hungarian law which bans the promotion of homosexuality and gender change among children.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the commission chief called the Hungarian law “a shame,” and said Brussels will be taking legal steps within its authority to oppose it. She instructed commissioners to send the Hungarian government a letter “to express legal concerns before the bill enters into force.”

This bill clearly discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and it goes against all the fundamental values of the European Union.

The legislation was adopted by the Hungarian parliament last week as part of a larger bill cracking down on sexual crimes against minors. The provisions that triggered anger from Brussels and some EU nations prohibit content promoting gay relationships and gender transition to be shown to school students.

Critics see the bill as discriminatory and stigmatizing the LGBT community. Earlier this week, a group of 14 EU members called on the commission to take action against Hungary.

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The bill was the focus of a Tuesday ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, which was convened under the Article 7 sanctions procedure against Warsaw and Budapest. The meeting was reportedly tense, with representatives of other member states emotionally expressing their frustration to Hungary’s justice minister, Judit Varga.

Varga tweeted during the event, insisting that the legislation does not infringe on LGBT rights and simply seeks to protect the rights of parents to choose what their children are taught. Varga is part of the conservative government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is a longtime opponent of Brussels’ influence over domestic life in EU member states.

Speaking on Wednesday, von der Leyen said she “will not compromise” on EU values, and “will use all the powers of the Commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed, whoever you are and wherever you live.”

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