EU threatens to withhold financial support from Hungary over definition of marriage: report
BUDAPEST, January 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - European Union officials are making their disapproval of Hungary’s recent constitutional changes felt by threatening to withhold financial support if it does not remove its new amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, according to one Hungarian source.
The so-called “Easter constitution” adopted in the post-Communist country last May was a major shakeup for Hungarian politics and an outrage to progressive EU ideology: the document not only supported marriage but declared that the unborn child deserves protection from the moment of conception, and even made special mention of Christianity as lying at the heart of the country’s identity. The document’s discussion of human rights also does not mention sexual orientation, another break from EU priorities.
The Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet claimed this week that the EU would move to drop financial aid to Hungary unless officials there scratched the marriage definition and dropped criminal charges against former Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, according to unnamed sources in Brussels. A spokesperson for the European commissioner for economic affairs called the allegation “nonsense,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
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However, The European Commission also issued a statement this week threatening to take action against Hungary because of its new constitution, saying it is “committed to fully use all its powers to analyse the compatibility of [Hungary’s] national law with EU law and reserves the right to take any steps that it deems appropriate, namely the possibility of launching infringement procedures pursuant to Article 258 of the [EU] Treaty.”
Rev. Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, called on Hungary’s political leadership Wednesday to resist intimidation tactics against their efforts to rebuild a culture of life in a society now facing population freefall after generations of abortion-on-demand.
“This is blackmail, pure and simple. The EU essentially holds many of its member nations captive in a financially tenuous situation, then offers ‘help’ with conditions, even if those conditions are a grave offense to the culture and sovereignty of the nation,” said Fr. Boquet in a press release. “This is only the beginning of Hungary’s fight for its national sovereignty, for life and family.”
Boquet noted that the people of Hungary and their leaders should be aware of how Christians around the world have been “inspired” by their efforts to “stem the radical secular, anti-life, anti-family tide in Europe.”
“Recognizing that those nations who have embraced abortion and who have abandoned the traditional family are in a demographic tailspin, Hungarians have chosen another course: one of hope for the future,” said the priest. “It is unconscionable that the unelected bureaucrats of the EU would force Hungary and other member nations to share in their slow suicide, rather than seeing the obvious need to reaffirm the only institution that gives them a future – the traditional family.”
In 2008, a measure to grant the benefits of marriage to non-married couples including homosexuals was struck down by the country’s Constitutional Court, which said the bill would have “downgraded” the institution of marriage. Nonetheless, the Court said a partnership bill granting such benefits only to homosexual couples would be acceptable, leading to the success of such a measure in 2009.