Politics

Hungary told to leave EU by Dutch prime minister over reviled anti-LGBT+ law

Patrick Kelleher June 24, 2021
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Mark Rutte Hungary

Mark Rutte. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty)

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has said that Hungary should be expelled from the European Union if it refuses to back down on its anti-LGBT+ law.

On 15 June, Hungary’s National Assembly passed a law banning the depiction or discussion of different gender identities and sexual orientations in schools. The wide-reaching legislation also prohibits LGBT+ representation in advertising or media that could be seen by under-18s.

The law has faced a storm of criticism within the European Union, with Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte telling reporters on Thursday (24 June) that the country’s place within the block could be in jeopardy if it continues on this path.

If Hungary refuses to withdraw its anti-LGBT+ law, “then as far as I am concerned, there is nothing left for them in the EU,” Rutte said, according to DutchNews.nl.

“This is such a fundamental point, that if we let that go, we are nothing more than a trading block and a currency,” he added.

Rutte went on to lambast Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, describing him as “shameless”.

“We have to get him to his knees,” he told journalists.

The Dutch prime minister continued: “But I’m not the only one to decide this: there are 26 other (EU countries). This has to be done step by step.”

Rutte went on to touch on the LGBT+ free zones in Poland, which caused significant controversy last year.

“There are too many of these sort of issues emerging,” he said. “I never thought that when I got this job (the premiership) 11 years ago, that we would be having these discussions about such fundamental values.”

EU leaders have condemned Hungary over its harsh, anti-LGBT+ law

Rutte’s comments came shortly after he and other EU leaders condemned Hungary’s discriminatory law in an open letter issued on Thursday (24 June).

The letter does not explicitly reference Hungary but was written “in the light of threats against fundamental rights and in particular the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation”.

The letter’s writers vowed “to continue fighting against discrimination towards the LGBT+ community”.

Rutte made his comments immediately before the commencement of the EU summit, which sees leaders in the block congregate in Brussels. It is expected that Orbán will be confronted by EU leaders over the law, which has been condemned by human rights groups.

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