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EU to take steps against Hungary over anti-LGBT bill

EU to take steps against Hungary over anti-LGBT bill

6/23/2021 4:05:00 PM

EU to take steps against Hungary over anti- LGBT bill

The Europ ean Commission will take action against Hungary over planned new restrictions on LGBT rights, the head of the bloc's executive said on Wednesday, saying they violated fundamental EU values.

read more"The Hungarian bill is a shame," European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels, stressing the EU would not compromise on principles such as human dignity, equality and the respect for human rights."I have instructed my responsible commissioners to write to the Hungarian authorities expressing our legal concerns before the bill enters into force."

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Hungary's president, a former lawmaker from the ruling Fidesz party, is expected soon to sign the bill into law.On Tuesday, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Ireland and other European countries condemned Hungary over the draft law. A Swedish minister described it as "grotesque".

Facing an election next year, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has grown increasingly combative on social issues, saying he wants to protect traditional Christian values against what he sees as the excesses of Western liberalism.EMBRACING DIVERSITY

Von der Leyen said the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) bill clearly contradicted the very values on which the European Union was founded."Istrongly believe in a European Union where you are free to love whom you want. And I believe in a European Union that embraces diversity, this is the foundation of our values," she told a news conference in remarks greeted by applause.

"So I 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."The EU has long accused Hungary of undermining the rule of law and has launched a formal legal investigation of Orban's government.

In a decade in power, Orban has used public money including EU funds to build a loyal business elite while curbing the independence of the media, non-governmental organisations and universities, his critics say. Orban, who has a large parliamentary majority, denies undermining Hungarian democracy.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Francesco Guarascio and Marine StraussOur Standards:More from ReutersSign up for our newsletterSubscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox. Read more: Reuters Top News »

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