23 February 2011 E-001618/2011
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Sophia in ‘t Veld (ALDE) , Renate Weber (ALDE) , Baroness Sarah Ludford (ALDE) and Marietje Schaake (ALDE)
Subject: Hungarian media law
Article 83 (c) of the Hungarian Media Law stipulates that media have to ‘respect the institution of marriage and the value of family’. At the same time, the Hungarian Government has proposed to define marriage in the Constitution to be exclusively between a man and a woman, thereby banning same-sex marriage.
Furthermore, the newly appointed Head of the Media Authority stated in a 2009 press release condemning the decision by the Radio and Television Commission to vote down sanctions on a programme showing a commitment ceremony followed by a kiss by a gay couple, that ‘the closing scene showing the imitated wedding of two men has presumably violated the institution of marriage’(1). She also consistently voted against any sanctions on TV programmes using homophobic language.
Does the Commission agree that the constitutional definition of marriage, combined with Article 83 of the media law and the apparent views of the Head of the Media Authority, may lead effectively to a full ban on displaying same-sex couples in the Hungarian media?
Given that the media law applies to non-Hungarian media as well, does this mean that these cannot make any positive reference to LGBT people, even if, for example, same-sex marriage is legal in the country of origin, as this might be a violation of Article 83 of the Media Law?
Does the Commission not consider that effectively rendering LGBT people invisible in the media would constitute discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation as per Articles 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, 2 and 3 of the TEU and 10 and 19 of the TFEU, as well as a violation of the right to information and freedom of expression as per Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights?
Please find the answer here.