Alfred Sant has torn into Hungary’s decision to entrench anti-LGBTIQ discrimination into national law, warning that the country is heading down the path of fascism.
The Labour MEP and former prime minister was among the 459 Euro-parliamentarians who voted in favour of a resolution condemning Hungary for breaching EU law through its legislative changes. All other Maltese MEPs also backed the motion, which was passed with a 69 per cent majority last week.
Hungary’s new law prohibits discussion or portrayal of homosexuality or gender reassignment in educational content and TV programmes aimed at minors. Sex education classes can now only be taught by registered organisations. The country has argued that the law is aimed at “protecting children from information advocating for a denial of traditional family values”.
The law has been roundly condemned by other EU member states and the European Commission has started legal action against Viktor Orban’s government for breaching several EU laws and principles.
In a statement on Saturday, Sant added his voice to that condemnation.
“The new law, purposely vague, will create a context in which LGBTIQ people will feel threatened, unprotected and where homophobic attacks could be allowed,” he said.
“This way, fascism beckons.”
The Labour MEP has in the past been critical of EU action to sanction member states for rule of law violations under article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union, saying such manoeuvres are often manipulated for partisan reasons.
But in this case, he said, the issues at stake go beyond the scope of that article.
They relate to human rights values as enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the EU. About these, there can be no compromise”, he said.
Sant went on to describe the new legislation in Hungary as disgraceful and said that an elected democratic government respectful of European values should equally protect each citizen without any discrimination.
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