European Commission to take legal steps against Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law

The European Commission on Wednesday announced it would take legal steps against Hungary’s new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, as President Ursula von der Leyen said that she instructed Commissioners Didier Reynders and Thierry Breton to send the Hungarian government a letter “to express [their] legal concerns before the bill enters into force.”

“This Hungarian bill is a shame,” von der Leyen said during a press conference on the Belgian recovery plan alongside the country’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

The bill, which bans portraying homosexuality and gender transitioning in content for minors, caused anger among EU governments, with 14 countries endorsing a statement on Tuesday asking the Commission to step up.

The affair became known to the wider public when UEFA, Europe’s football governing body, forbade the city of Munich from lighting its football stadium in rainbow colors when Germany plays Hungary on Wednesday in a protest against the new legislation and “a sign of tolerance and cosmopolitanism.”

Officials said von der Leyen has had her team look into ways to intervene in a legal-proof way. This bill “clearly discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation,” the Commission president said. She added that the “fundamental values of the European Union” are at risk of violation.

UPDATE: This article was updated after Ursula Von der Leyen’s press conference.

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