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Hungary to “save EU from hypocrites” amid LGBT row

Dutch PM tells Hungary to leave the EU as Viktor Orban pushes ahead with law.

A war of words broke out before, during and after an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels yesterday, as member states attempted to pressure Hungary into shelving a new law that bans the promotion of LGBT content among children.

Whilst Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters before the meeting that Hungary has “no place in the EU anymore”, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said her country would not be leaving and wanted to save the EU “from hypocrites” in an apparent reference to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s claim that “it starts with discriminating against LGBT and ends up with silencing people who say what they don’t like.”

De Croo then told Orban “being homosexual is not a choice; being homophobic is” during the meeting, with Rutte backing him up by insisting Hungary had “passed a line”.

“This time it is too much,” Rutte claimed.

The Hungarian law, which increases punishment for paedophiles whilst banning the promotion of homosexuality among minors, was passed last week in the country’s parliament and then signed into law on Wednesday by President Janos Ader.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said “it’s not about homosexuality” however, insisting that “it’s about the kids and the parents.”

“I am defending the rights of homosexual guys but this law is not about them.”

Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel, who is gay, said he “didn’t get up one morning after having seen an advert on the TV of some brand…and say ‘I’m gay’. That’s not how life works.”

The European Commission has written to Hungary demanding “clarifications, explanation and information” on the bill, claiming some provisions appear to “violate the prohibition of discrimination based on sex and on sexual orientation”, and would see homosexuality and transgenderism stigmatised like “pornography”.

Poland’s German ambassador, Andrzej Przylebski, has defended Orban during the controversy, it is “evident and beyond doubt” that Hungarians have the right to protect schoolchildren from dealing with LGBT issues.

“This has nothing to do with intolerance, let alone persecuting homosexuals,” Przylebski claimed.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin had called for “strong moral pressure from the rest of Europe on what has transpired”, claiming his opposition to the law was about “sending a very clear message” on the EU’s values.

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