Luxembourg’s openly gay prime minister Xavier Bettel has taking aim at the leader of Hungary for the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
Hungary passed its most notable anti-LGBTQ+ law, the Child Protection Act, in June 2021. The legislation bans the discussion of LGBTQ+ people in schools and in the media.
The country has been taken to the European Union Court of Justice by the European Commission over the act, signed into law by prime minister Viktor Orbán, on the basis that it “discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Speaking at the European Parliament on Wednesday (19 April), Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel said: “I’m ashamed to see that some of my colleagues want to win votes at the expense of minorities.”
According to Euronews, he added that anyone in the parliament who “thinks you become homosexual by watching TV… by listening to a song, then you prove you have understood nothing.
“The most difficult [thing] for a homosexual is to accept himself.”
Bettel said LGBTQ+ people didn’t demand pity, solidarity or compassion – just respect, Euronews reported.
To stigmatise queer people and “tell them that it is the fault of education, culture, and the audio-visual [sector]” was contrary to the European way and “its open tolerance”, he said.
‘Being stigmatised is very far-reaching
This is not the first time Bettel has spoken so openly against Hungary’s law.
After the Child Protection Act passed, he was quoted as saying that he did not just wake up one day after watching some advertising or Modern Family and suddenly become gay.
“It is not something I chose,” he said in 2021.
“Accepting yourself is already very hard, being stigmatised is… very far-reaching.”
Hungary has made it clear that it intends to defend the law, which has been widely condemned, with a number of European nations supporting the legal action.
However, last month, justice minister Judit Varga filed a counter claim with the court.
At the time, she said: “Hungary will not surrender” and claimed there were “cases that have come to light” that “clearly” showed the need for the law “as well as further measures”.
Earlier this month, Hungarian lawmakers voted in favour of a bill that would allow its citizens to report same-sex families with children to local authorities. Orbán is expected to sign it into law.