Austria will join the Commission’s infringement case against Hungary over the so-called “anti-LGBT propaganda law,” EU and Constitutional Affairs Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) said Monday evening in Brussels at an event organized by the European Forum Alpbach, Die Presse reports.
When asked by the newspaper, Edtstadler said she would support the Commission in its infringement proceedings against the alleged criminalization of sexual minorities. Thus, after five weeks of debate, the Austrian government has agreed on a common position on this issue.
Austria’s decision to join the LGBTQ lawsuit against Hungary is not without controversy though, as the country has recorded exponentially higher figures for homophobic attacks than Hungary.
Hate crime remains a serious issue in Austria, with over two hundred incidents in the first three months of 2022 alone,
according to the latest ILGA-EUROPE Annual Report on Human Rights of LGBTQ Persons in Europe and Central Asia.
A study compiled as far back as in 2018 has shown that in Austria “responses show substantial rates of bullying and violence in the education context as well as very high numbers of street harassment, especially for gender non– conforming young LGBTQs”. The Austrian Ministry of Interior’s annual hate crime report documented a full 376 hate crimes in all of 2021. More than one crime per day has been perpetrated on the LGBTQ community, Momentum Institute reports.
Facebook Vienna Pride
The few reports on the topic agree on one assertion: victims of hate crimes are much less likely to report crimes in Austria, the institute adds. The LGBTQ Survey 2020 of the European Fundamental Rights Agency FRA clearly proves this: 83 percent of those surveyed did not report the last case of a “hate-motivated physical or sexual attack.” Of these, 38 percent because they did not believe the incident would be resolved or cleared up, 29 percent because of a lack of trust in the police, and 31 percent because they expected LGBTQ-hostile behavior by the police.
According to Mario Lindner, SPÖ spokesperson for equal treatment, LGBTQ and diversity, Austria is experiencing “a crisis of LGBTQ hostility. “To counter the ever-growing threat of queer-hostile violence, in addition to a multi-year action plan against hate, more legal certainty is needed in the form of even more comprehensive protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in private life”, said the politician.
The number of attacks on the LGBTQ community in Hungary, on the other hand, is negligible. On the website of the Hungarian LGBTQ community, the latest hit for the search term “attack” is an article from 2021, which is a press release from Háttér Társaság. This one is about a man sentenced to two years in prison for a crime committed in 2019 for beating a young woman who was carrying a rainbow-colored bag and an older man who came to her aid.
Via diepresse.com, Ungarn Heute, Featured image: Facebook Vienna Pride