Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ laws had all EU leaders emotional, Dutch PM says
The European Union summit meeting on Hungary's new anti-LGBTQ+ laws was extremely emotional, Prime Minister Mark Rute said after the meeting on Thursday evening. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban faced harsher criticism than Rutte ever experienced with any leader. "This was very intense and impressive," he said, NU.nl reports.
According to Rutte, the "vast majority" of the EU leaders were against the anti_LGBTQ+ laws and made sure Orban understood it. Especially Luxembourg Prime Minister Zavier Bettel's personal account of his life with his husband had an impact. "Everyone had tears in their eyes," Rutte said.
It was the first time Rutte witnessed an EU leader being so "deeply and firmly" addressed at a summit, the Dutch Prime Minister said. Sources report that Orban only got support from Poland, Slovenia, and Bulgaria. The atmosphere at the meeting was not great, but it didn't devolve to shouting, Rutte said.
According to Rutte, the European Commission is continuing proceedings against Hungary, to force the country to comply with the EU rules. "I think the Commission is really motivated for that," he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Rutte challenged Orban before all the EU leaders to start the procedure for Hungary to leave the EU, because Orban "apparently does not want to adhere to the values and standards of the union", he said.
The Netherlands also released a statement along with a number of other EU countries, officially condemning Hungary's new laws. The new laws discriminate against LGBTQ+ people and "violate the right to freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting children," the countries said.
The new laws set to take effect in Hungary prohibit the "portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality" for young people under the age of 18. They also link queerness with pedophilia.