Anti-LGBTQ+ laws 'will harm many people', Taoiseach tells Hungarian prime minister

Anti-LGBTQ+ laws 'will harm many people', Taoiseach tells Hungarian prime minister

A drag queen waves a rainbow flag during an LGBT rights demonstration in front of the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary. Picture: AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky

The Taoiseach has told Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban that his new anti-LGBTQ+ laws "will harm many people".

Speaking in Brussels, Micheál Martin said the EU summit discussed the Hungarian regime's raft of legislative measures which includes preventing children from being shown LGBTQI+ people on TV or film.

"We had a very, I think, passionate, frank exchange LGBT rights, and particularly the Hungarian modifications to the legislation, which many of us felt was dangerous, and in particular for young people within the LGBTI community and contrary to European values," Mr Martin said.

"Of all the meetings I've attended, it was quite an extraordinary outpouring of heartfelt views from members across the table.

"I took an opportunity to share an interview I had with Ruairí Holohan from Drogheda in the context of UNICEF project, and Rory took me through his story in the interview, he was raising the issue of homophobic behaviour in schools, difficulties for young people, teenagers in particular, as they come out, the challenges come to face and then I said to Victor Orban very clearly: 'Your laws will harm many people and will suppress the rights of young people,' and so many members made very clear that these laws are offensive to the core of the EU.

"Viktor Orban was asked to reflect on that and he give his perspective on it."

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban talks to journalists as he arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, June 24, 2021. Picture: John Thys, Pool Photo via AP
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban talks to journalists as he arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, June 24, 2021. Picture: John Thys, Pool Photo via AP

Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa suggested that Hungary could leave the EU, and have an economic relationship only, like Norway and Switzerland.

The Taoiseach said he felt that Hungary had been left with no doubt that they had "crossed a line".

"My sense is now that Hungary has to engage with the European Union and in the first instance with the Commission," he said.

"Hungary was left in no doubt that a line has been crossed because the distinction is important in terms of the moral perspective and political perspective.

"The European Union is there to protect citizens, including Hungarian citizens and that (EU) membership could be protection for them.

"Aside altogether from the law or invoking the treaty, there's absolutely no doubt that a line had been crossed and, without question, it will have implications in terms of future decisions on funding.

"And as I said last evening Orban should reflect on his position."

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