Social Issues

17 EU leaders sign letter in defense of LGBTQI+ rights

Brussels, Jun 24 (EFE).- The leaders of 17 European Union countries on Thursday signed an open letter in defense of LGBTQI+ rights in response to a controversial law in Hungary that would ban educational content on the subject in schools.

The letter did not explicitly condemn Hungary, but came a day after European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Brussels would study legal action against the proposed bill, which she described as a “shame” that contravened EU values.

“We must continue to fight against discrimination towards the LGBTI community, reaffirming our defence of their fundamental rights,” the statement from EU leaders read.

“Respect and tolerance are at the core of the European project.”

The letter, which also marks International Pride Day on June 28, was signed by French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Other signatories were: The prime ministers of Spain, Pedro Sanchez; Belgium, Alexander de Croo; the Netherlands, Mark Rutte; Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel; Italy, Mario Dragi; Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis; Denmark, Mette Frederiksen; Estonia, Kaja Kallas; Finland, Sanna Marin; Latvia, Arturs Krisjanis; Sweden, Stefan Lovren, and the Republic of Ireland, Micheál Martin.

The presidents of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades and Malta, Robert Abela, were also on the list .

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz co-signed the letter after its release.

EU heads of government will meet in Brussels Thursday and Friday for an EU summit to discuss the bloc’s economic recovery, the situation in Belarus and tensions with Russia.

LGBTQI+ rights are not listed on the meeting’s official agenda. EFE

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