Benelux countries condemn Hungary for attack on LGBTIQ community

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on Tuesday condemned the new Hungarian legislation, seen as an attack on the LGBTIQ community, and urged the European Commission to use “all tools” to ensure respect for all European citizens.

“We express our grave concern for the approval by the Hungarian parliament of legislative amendments that discriminate against the LGTBIQ community [lésbicas, gay, bissexual, transgénero, transexual, travesti, intersexual e queer], violating the right to freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting children,” refer the three countries in a joint statement released this Tuesday.

The initiative of the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) was presented at the meeting of ministers and secretaries of state taking place today in Luxembourg.

The meeting will address criticisms against Poland and Hungary for their lack of respect for the principles of the rule of law, such as judicial independence or pluralism in the media.

Specifically, the declaration refers to amendments introduced in a number of Hungarian laws (Minor Protection Act, Business Advertising Act, Media Act, Family Protection Act and Public Education Act).

For countries that signed the document, Hungarian legislative amendments prohibit the “representation and promotion of gender identity different from the sex of birth, sex change and homosexuality” to minors under 18 years of age.

The new legislation represents “a blatant force of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and therefore deserves to be condemned”, accuse the Benelux countries.

“Inclusion, human dignity and equality are fundamental values ​​of our European Union, and we cannot compromise these principles”, indicates the same document, stressing that the legislative changes go against fundamental rights.

“(The amendments) violate freedom of expression, by limiting freedom of opinion and to receive and disseminate information without interference by public authority, as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,” accuse the three States.

“The stigmatization of LGBTIQ people is a clear violation of the fundamental right to dignity as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and in international law”, add Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Therefore, the three countries, in addition to the debate today in Luxembourg, urge the European Commission, as “guardian” of the treaties, to use “all the tools at its disposal to guarantee full respect for European Union Law”.

Benelux countries admit referring the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

“We are ready to protect the rights of all citizens of the European Union”, concludes the text.

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