Dutch leader tells Hungary: If you don’t like LGBT rights, you can leave the E.U.

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6/26/2021

The dispute between a number of European Union leaders and Hungary over LGBT rights grew emotional after a meeting on Thursday, with Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s peers warning him that there was no place for discrimination in the bloc. “If you don’t like it, there is also an alternative: Leave the Union,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Orban, he recalled to reporters after the meeting. Rutte said that some were in tears during the debate, while French President Emmanuel Macron later said it was a battle over civilization and culture. “Hate, intolerance and discrimination have no place in our Union,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who is gay, wrote on Twitter on Thursday as he shared a pro-LGBT rights letter written by E.U. officials. European leaders are in Brussels for an E.U. summit, but the discussion Thursday had been dominated by a new law, approved last week by Hungary’s parliament, that critics say targets gay men, lesbians and transgender people. Orban’s government has said the bill is designed to combat child sexual abuse. The broadly written law prohibits sharing content with minors that is deemed to be promoting gay sex or sexual reassignment. But critics argue it is far more than that and Hungary’s conservative faction is limiting LGBT rights to distract from the weakness of Orban’s pandemic response.

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