STRASBOURG, France, July 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Commission (EC) has opened legal proceedings against European Union (EU) member states Hungary and Poland, both of which have been accused of infringing upon the “equality and the protection of fundamental rights” of their LGBT-identifying citizens by implementing laws protecting the innocence of children and limiting the spread of “transgender” and homosexual material.
The lawsuit was launched in response to Hungary’s recent decision to implement a crackdown on the dissemination of homosexual-promoting materials to children under age 18 (as part of a wider law punishing pedophilia in the country), and in response to Poland’s numerous “LGBT ideology-free zones” in which so-called “equality marches” often include lewd displays of sexual depravity, are banned and traditional marriage and family values are upheld. Around one third of Poland’s municipalities have signed on to the charter defending family rights.
In early July, EC president Ursula von der Leyen promised to use the “powers invested in” the executive branch of the EU to penalize those states whose rule of law “impedes European law.” To this end, the EC “is launching infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland related to the equality and the protection of fundamental rights,” a July 15 press release revealed.
In an earlier statement, Von der Leyen said that “Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised: be it because of whom they love, because of their age, their ethnicity, their political opinions, or their religious beliefs.” Accordingly, the Commission penned a notice to the administration in Budapest, warning that their new law which “prohibits or limits access to content that propagates or portrays the so-called ‘divergence from self-identity corresponding to sex at birth, sex change or homosexuality' for individuals under 18,” is in breach of “a number of EU rules,” seven in total.
Continuing, the statement asserted that “Hungary has failed to explain why the exposure of children to LGBTIQ content as such would be detrimental to their well-being or not in line with the best interests of the child.” The Commission thus considers it a duty to intervene with the country’s internal affairs.
Notably, alongside the alleged violations of the “freedom to provide services” and the “free movement of goods,” the EC believes that “the Hungarian provisions also violate human dignity, freedom of expression and information, the right to respect of private life as well as the right to non-discrimination as enshrined respectively in Articles 1, 7, 11 and 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.”
The EC likewise took umbrage with the “several Polish municipalities and regions” that adopted “LGBT-ideology free zones” resolutions. The EC stated its concern that “these declarations may violate EU law regarding non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation,” later issuing a notice to Polish authorities for “failing to comply with the principle of sincere cooperation” by declining to provide “the requested information” about these “zones” to the EU. The “sincere cooperation” directive stated that members “shall facilitate the achievement of the Union's tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union's objectives.”
The EC received support from members of the EU, which overwhelmingly passed a resolution on July 8 denouncing the Hungarian law and stating that “LGBTIQ rights are human rights.” The resolution also formally requested that the EU use its new powers of “conditionality,” a mechanism to put pressure on members of the bloc to adopt certain laws, to strangle Hungary’s budget allocation, with the hope of coercing the nation to submit to the EU.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán rebuked Von der Leyen and the EC, stating emphatically that while the “European Parliament and the European Commission want that we let LGBTQ activists and organizations into the kindergartens and schools,” “Hungary does not want that.”
Continuing, the Hungarian premier declared that in his country “Brussels bureaucrats have no business at all, no matter what they do we will not let LGBTQ activists among our children.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki echoed Orbán’s sentiments in a July 15 statement, insisting that EU courts do not have the power to influence how sovereign jurisdictions operate, characterizing the tension with the EU as a “typical dispute of the doctrine.” Marek Ast, who heads Poland’s parliamentary commission for justice, backed Morawiecki, saying that “[t]he disciplinary regime for judges in Poland is not compatible with EU law.”
Ast added that, in the first place “the organization of the justice system is the sole competence of EU member states. Secondly, the standards that ECJ [European Court of Justice] is drawing from the EU treaties are not in line with Poland’s Constitution.”
In direct contrast, a spokesman for the EC claimed that “EU law has primacy over national law and all decisions by the European Court of Justice, including orders for interim measures, are binding on member states’ authorities and national courts,” rejecting outright the notion of national sovereignty.