The EESC condemns in the strongest terms the attempt by Hungarian lawmakers to assimilate homosexuality with paedophilia in amendments that represent a new wave of legislative stigmatisation of LGBTIQ persons in the country.
"Any kind of discrimination, including discrimination based on people's sexual orientation goes against the EU's fundamental values. These values should be guaranteed for all EU citizens." declared Christa Schweng, EESC President.
The Hungarian parliament adopted last week legislation to increase the criminalisation of paedophilia, which includes a ban of the "portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality” for persons under the age of 18.
The EESC considers it unacceptable to associate sexual orientation and gender identity with paedophilia and crime against children. Instead of protecting children, such provisions will actually harm youth who identify as LGBTIQ. The EESC sees this as a new attempt to scapegoat lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in Hungary. The adopted amendments also highlight the continuing reduction of freedom of expression and education in the country, as media and schools will clearly be affected by this ban.
More generally, the EESC is worried about negative trends that have affected the rights of LGBTIQ persons in the EU lately. An important survey published by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in 2020 has highlighted the prevalence of discrimination against LGBTIQ persons all over the continent. While the most grotesque developments like the so-called zones "LGBTIQ ideology-free zones" in Poland have rightly led to widespread condemnation, the EESC is also concerned about the rise of harassment, hate speech, and physical attacks by private actors in many other EU countries. The FRA survey for example indicated that LGBTIQ persons in countries like Belgium, France or Germany experienced some of the highest frequency of physical or sexual attacks in the EU.
The EESC firmly reproves any form of discrimination and stigmatisation against any individual or group. It stands in solidarity with LGBTIQ persons in all EU Member States and all around the world. EESC solemnly reminds all EU Member States that it is their responsibilities to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of all individuals, whatever their background. This has absolutely nothing to do with ideology but stems from the commitments sovereignly made by all EU Members States to respect international human rights law and EU values as laid down by Article 2 of the EU Treaty.
Christa Schweng, EESC President
Laurenţiu Plosceanu, President of the EESC Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC)
Cristian Pîrvulescu, President of the EESC Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law (FRRL) Group