Angela Merkel Joins Other EU Leaders in Criticizing Hungary's LGBT Law: 'This Law is Wrong'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers that a Hungarian law that will ban sharing LGBT or sex reassignment content with children "is wrong" and "incompatible" with her political ideals, the Associated Press reported.

She said any action against the bill was up to the European Commission to initiate, "but in any case it draws clear criticism from me....If you allow homosexual, same-sex partnerships but restrict information about them elsewhere, that also has to do with freedom of education and the like," she said.

Merkel is one of a few European Union leaders who have criticized the bill. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it "a shame" and vowed in a statement to use all the powers of the commission to protect LGBT rights in the EU.

"This bill clearly discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation," she said. "It goes against the fundamental values of the European Union: human dignity, equality and respect for human rights."

The Hungarian parliament passed the bill last week, but it must be endorsed by President János Áder to take effect.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (front) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrive for a joint press conference at the Chancellery on June 23, 2021, in Berlin, Germany. Merkel criticized the Hungarian law that would ban sharing LGBT or sex reassignment content with children. Clemens Bilan/Pool/Getty Images

Von der Leyen said she had instructed her commissioners to send a letter to Hungary laying out her legal concerns before the bill formally becomes law. The commission proposes legislation on behalf of the 27 EU member countries and ensures that the rules are respected.

The Hungarian government said von der Leyen's statement "is a shame because it is based on false allegations" and "because it publishes a biased political opinion without a previously conducted, impartial inquiry."

"The recently adopted Hungarian bill protects the rights of children, guarantees the rights of parents and does not apply to the sexual orientation rights of those over 18 years of age, so it does not contain any discriminatory elements," a government statement said.

The issue is due to be raised at Europe's top table on Thursday night, when EU leaders meet in Brussels for a two-day summit.

Earlier this month, EU lawmakers threatened to sue the commission if it fails to act against countries like Hungary if they flout democratic standards. EU Parliament President David Sassoli said Wednesday that he had written to von der Leyen insisting on action.

"We are convinced that there have been flagrant violations of the principles of the rule of law by certain member states, which need to be sanctioned," Sassoli said. "If there is no reaction from the commission within the timeframe specified in the treaties, we will take action in the (EU) court of justice."

Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Szijjarto
Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto looks at paper work during a European general affairs ministers meeting at the European Council building in Luxembourg on June 22, 2021. John Thys/Pool via AP Photo