BRUSSELS — The European Union’s chief executive vowed Wednesday to take any action necessary to thwart a new law in Hungary that would ban content portraying or promoting homosexuality or sex reassignment to children.
The Hungarian parliament passed the bill last week, but it must be endorsed by the president to take effect. It prohibits sharing content on homosexuality or sex reassignment to people under 18 in school sex education programs, films or advertisements. The government says it’s meant to protect children but critics of the law say it links homosexuality with pedophilia.
“This Hungarian bill is a shame,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “This bill clearly discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation. It goes against the fundamental values of the European Union: human dignity, equality and respect for human rights.”
“I believe in a European Union where you are free to be who you are and love whomever you want,” she said in a statement. “I will use all the powers of the commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed. Whoever they are and wherever they live within the European Union.”
Von der Leyen said she had instructed her commissioners to send a letter to Hungary laying out her legal concerns before the bill formally becomes law. The commission proposes legislation on behalf of the 27 EU member countries and ensures that the rules are respected.
On Tuesday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto argued that the law would allow “parents to educate their kids regarding sexual orientation until the age of 18.”
“This law does not say anything regarding sexual orientation of adults,” he said.