Updated 48 minutes ago
TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN said Hungarian anti-LGBTQ law threatens the EU’s «fundamental rights» and «pressure» must be put on the member state.
Ahead of the EU Council meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow, leaders of 16 EU countries, including Martin, signed a letter defending gay rights.
Another website, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said Hungary should not be in the European Union because of the new law.
«For me, Hungary no longer has a place in the European Union,» Rutte told reporters before the summit.
But I am not the only one who decided this: there are 26 other countries (EU countries). This must be done step by step.»
The focus on gender and sexual freedoms in Europe comes after the Hungarian parliament passed a law banning references to homosexuals in school educational materials.
Hungary, an EU member state, is led by right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose authoritarian policies are increasingly at odds with the EU’s professed values.
Orban defended the law as he arrived at the EU summit, which is increasingly dominated by the controversy over the issue.
This is not against homosexuality, i.e. sexual interference. «It’s not about gays,» Urban said.
«It’s about the rights of children and parents,» he said, adding that he would not withdraw the legislation despite public criticism from most of its EU counterparts.
Urban’s arrival at the Brussels summit.
Source: PA Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Urban’s anti-LGBT law a «mistake» while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called the legislation a «disgrace».
Without directly mentioning Hungary, the letter signed by the heads of state before the EU summit condemned «threats against fundamental rights, in particular the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.»
Speaking in Brussels this morning, Taoiseach said there should be «strong moral pressure from the rest of Europe on what happened» in Hungary.
«It’s not just about sending a signal but sending a very clear message» about European values, he said.
In addition, all avenues must be explored in terms of the legal framework in Europe to pursue this issue. Moral pressure is important, but so is the emphasis on European values on a core issue like this.
He added that there were «fundamental rights» about diversity being celebrated in Ireland, and it was important that «they are strongly affirmed and made clear and that the hungry hear it».
Taoiseach Micheál Martin arrives at the Council of the European Union today.
The issue was brought into the wider public awareness last week as part of the European Football Championship 2020.
Anti-LGBT banners were seen during a match in the Hungarian capital Budapest and ahead of Germany’s match with Hungary last night, UEFA rejected a request to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours.
UEFA defended its decision, saying that Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter’s request was rejected because it was politically motivated.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney told Dáil today that UEFA had «shown cowardice» by not agreeing to the request. He said the issue was not about politics but rather «human rights.»
“That is why I agree with Deputy Griffin that UEFA has shown cowardice on this issue in my view. UEFA has done a great job in terms of trying to eradicate racism in football, as have many other sports organizations and this natural extension So,” he said.
Also being candid about the need to protect and respect diversity and minorities in the context of people’s sexual preferences in the LGBTQI+ community.
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The controversy is likely to arise during a working dinner at the summit of the summit in Brussels later today
The signatories are the leaders of the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who at one time sided with Orban on social issues, was missing, but his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel said on Twitter that Kurz «also joined us this morning with his signature».
– Reported by Christina Finn and © – AFP 2021
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