LGTBI rights

PP justifies its abstention in Europe in the vote on Orbán's homophobic law

The party distanced itself from the rest of its group in the European Parliament because the text included references to other countries

2 min
Dolors Montserrat

BarcelonaThe Spanish People's Party (PP) abstained in the European Parliament on Thursday in a vote calling for a freeze on EU funding for Hungary following the entry into force of a law banning the discussion of homosexuality in schools. Although the majority of MEPs voted in favour of the initiative, 12 of the 13 PP MEPs (including its leader, Dolors Montserrat) chose to abstain. The only one who did not was Esteban González Pons, the group's vice-president, who did support it.

This Friday, the PP has argued that it abstained because the text included amendments that referred to the situation of LGTBI rights in Croatia, Latvia and Lithuania, and that had been introduced by the left-wing groups. "The situations are not comparable and references to different countries cannot be mixed in a single resolution", sources of the party have told Efe, which remarked that its position "is firm against what happens in Hungary and against any discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation". "The PP is a staunch defender of equality, tolerance and freedom. What the PP will not tolerate is that the left tries to muddy a resolution harming other countries with things that have nothing to do with Hungary", says the PP. The initiative was approved with 459 votes in favour, 147 against and 58 abstentions.

As a result of this episode, the Spanish Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, has accused the PP of turning its back "once again" on the "rights of LGTBI people" and said that with its abstention the conservatives "renounce to denounce Hungarian LGTBIphobic laws".

The text approved on Thursday calls on the European Commission not to send Hungary the 7,000 million euros it is due from the recovery funds until it is established that this money provided by the European Union will not help to "actively contribute to the violation of fundamental rights in Hungary". The resolution also calls on Brussels to take "immediate" legal action against the law passed by the Hungarian Parliament, which links homosexuality and paedophilia and which came into force on Thursday.