Hungary’s president has vetoed a law widely seen as being discriminatory toward LGBTQ+ people, urging parliament to strike a controversial paragraph that would make it legal to anonymously report certain same-sex couples to the government.
The Hungarian parliament approved a law earlier this month that in theory transposes an EU directive protecting whistleblowers, but would also allow make it possible for people to report on those who challenge the “constitutionally recognized role of marriage and the family” and those who contest children’s rights “to an identity appropriate to their sex at birth.”
This, Hungarian President Katalin Novak said in a letter to the National Assembly, goes beyond transposing EU law, as the controversial chapter “does not strengthen but rather weakens the the protection of fundamental values.”
Lawmakers can still override Novak’s veto, Bloomberg reported. Regardless, this constitutes a rare rebuke of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Orbán has been clamping down on LGBTQ+ rights for more than a decade. A year after he came to power, in 2010, his party passed a new constitution that bans same-sex marriage. Later, the document was amended to bar same-sex couples from adopting children.
This has pit Budapest against Brussels, with the European Commission taking Hungary to the bloc’s highest courts for passing a law that the EU executive believes discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The “anti-propaganda” law where Hungary is seeking to ban content that “promotes or portrays” what it refers to as “divergence from self-identity corresponding to sex at birth, sex change or homosexuality” to minors.
The European Parliament and European Commission, along with more than a dozen European countries, have joined a lawsuit against the law.