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S&D Group urges Commission and Council to stand up for LGBTI people in Europe and protect their rights


07 Jul 2021


Justice & Home Affairs

S&D MEPs are urging the Commission and Member States to stand up for LGBTI people in Europe by acting against the offensive and regressive law that blatantly violate their rights in Hungary. The law introduced by Orbán’s government stigmatises and discriminates against LGBTI people by banning content referring to homosexuality, sex change or gender identity in schools, on TV and in films for people under 18 years old, and by putting homosexuality on the same footing as pornography.

The S&D Group led Parliament’s response to condemn this latest attack in the strongest possible terms and urges action to stop the spread of discrimination and homophobic hate crime in Europe. In a resolution being voted on Thursday, MEPs set out concrete steps for the Commission and Council to take, including making serious progress under the Article 7 procedure by issuing recommendations and sanctions on the Hungarian government and by triggering the EU’s new tool that links the budget to the rule of law.

Iratxe García Pérez MEP, S&D Group president, said:

“Last Friday, in Spain, Samuel aged 24 was beaten to death by 13 people shouting homophobic abuse. Samuel is the latest victim of where hate speech and anti-LGBTI discourse is taking us. Discriminatory discourse and policies are being driven throughout Europe by extreme right movements and complicit governments in a homophobic and anti-human rights crusade. LGBTI rights are human rights. In the European Union, discriminating against LGBTI people is illegal. That is why the new law in Hungary must be repealed - for infringing on human rights, and for being offensive and a disgrace. These backward laws are the seeds of hatred and violence. Everyone should have the same rights and opportunities in this Union, regardless of whom they love. The Council reacted to the Hungarian government’s latest move, but we need concrete action: from the use of the conditionality mechanism linked to the rule of law, to sanctions under Article 7 and finally unblocking the anti-discrimination Directive. But we must be clear, Hungary is not Orbán. It is the Orbán government that is out of place, not LGBTI people.”

Cyrus Engerer MEP, S&D negotiator on report, said:

“Working on this report, the only picture that kept coming to mind was of friends I had growing up, in a very conservative society.  These were friends that were so burdened with facing a society they believed would never understand them, that their only hope was leaving this world. Sadly that is what they did. This is why it is so important to make sure that all children and teenagers have access to information and let them know that it is fine to be different. We are here today to give hope. People in Hungary are on the edge of their seats, waiting for us to give them hope. They know that the European Union they aspired their country to join in 2004 was a Union that held fast to its values of equality, human rights and the protection of minorities. These values transcend any national laws and they expect us to protect European values and protect them as European citizens. There is so much courage being shown by the queer community around in the world. From Hungary to Poland. From Poland to Georgia, from Georgia to Ghana and elsewhere. The courage to be who we are, the courage to love who we love, to come out of the closet, to take to the streets and affirm our identity and the courage to be seen in front of those who believe we should not exist.”