Respect LGBT rights or leave EU, Hungary’s Orban told

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had some strong words for his Hungarian counterpart, Victor Orban on Thursday (June 24) – respect LGBT rights, or leave the European Union. The dressing down came after bloc leaders confronted Orban over a law that bans schools from using materials deemed to promote homosexuality. “It is my intention, on this point, to bring Hungary to its knees. They have to realize they are either a member of the European Union, and so a member of the community of shared values that we are — that means that in Hungary, in Budapest, in all of proud Hungary which is a beautiful country, that nobody can be discriminated and must feel free on the basis of sexuality, skin colour, gender, whatever, based on article 2 of the founding treaty of the European Union which is non-negotiable — or get out.” Hungary says the provisions for schools have been included in a law primarily aimed at protecting children from pedophiles. Several participants of the closed-door meeting spoke of the most intense personal clash among the 27 EU leaders in years on Thursday (June 25) night. Luxembourg’s gay Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, was one of them. “My takeaway after the speech was to remember a dinner I had five, six or seven years ago with Viktor Orban and my husband in Budapest, and I did not recognize the Viktor Orban sitting across the European Council table today. It is not the same person. It disappointed me a lot and I told him. This was my takeaway from this stigmatization and division of politics. It’s sad.”