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Luxembourg’s openly gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has condemned Hungary’s implementation of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, explicitly targeting the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán.

Bettel comments follow Hungary’s enactment of a highly controversial Child Protection Act in June 2021, which prohibits discussions about LGBTQ+ individuals in schools and media.

The European Commission has brought the case before the European Union Court of Justice, arguing that the law discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity resulting in Orbán’s Government attracting widespread criticism along with several European nations supporting legal action against Hungary.

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During a speech at the European Parliament on April 19, Bettel expressed his disappointment in the actions of some of his colleagues, accusing them of exploiting minority groups for political gain. According to Euronews, he also addressed misconceptions about homosexuality, emphasising that LGBTQ+ individuals only seek respect, not pity or compassion.

Bettel passionately argued against the notion that education, culture, and media are to blame for someone’s sexual orientation, insisting that such beliefs go against the European values of openness and tolerance. This is not the first time Bettel has publicly denounced Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law. Following the enactment of the Child Protection Act, he emphasised the challenges LGBTQ+ individuals face in accepting themselves and the profound impact of stigmatisation.

Despite international condemnation, Hungary has remained steadfast in its defence of the law, with Justice Minister Judit Varga filing a counterclaim in the court, asserting that Hungary will not back down. Furthermore, Hungarian lawmakers have recently approved a bill enabling citizens to report same-sex families with children to local authorities, with Orbán expected to sign it into law.

As the conflict between European values and Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation continues, it remains uncertain how the European Union Court of Justice will rule on the matter.

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