The Hungarian prime minister has issued a stern rebuke of his Dutch counterpart, telling Amsterdam to keep out of Hungarian politics after criticizing Budapest’s move to prevent the portrayal of homosexuality to minors.

Speaking to public radio on Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hit back at Dutch PM Mark Rutte and his “colonial” mentality, after he told Budapest to respect LGBTQ+ rights or leave the European Union. 

“This is a colonial approach,” Orban stated, adding, “they just give no thought to what they can and cannot say about another nation and the laws of another country.”

Last week, Rutte, during an EU summit, challenged Orban to leave the European bloc, noting that Budapest’s policies and perspectives were clearly not in line with Brussels. Hungary “has no business being in the European Union any more,” Rutte stated, adding it was their intention to bring Budapest to its knees on LGBTQ+ rights. 

The Dutch PM’s comments follow the passing of a new law in Hungary on June 15. While the law appears to focus on increasing punishment for convicted pedophiles, it also stipulates that homosexuality cannot be portrayed or promoted to under-18s.

Orban claims that the law is misunderstood, stating: “This is not against homosexuality. It’s about the right of the kids and the parents.” 

Other leaders have joined the condemnation of Orban, but have stopped short of demanding Hungary leave the EU. French President Emmanuel Macron said the EU could use the judicial powers available to it to punish Hungary but said he didn’t want to use Article 50 (initiating an exclusion from the EU).

Orban’s Hungary has long been at loggerheads with the EU. Earlier in 2021, with tensions rising, Budapest elected to take the European Commission to court over a stipulation linking access to European funds with upholding the rule of law.

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