BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis has called Zoltan Kovacs out for “creating a hostile environment” many young people growing up. It comes after the Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations of Hungary has expressed that “parental issues do not belong to the European Union”.
On 15 July, Brussels launched legal action against Hungary’s new anti-LGBTQ Law, which bans LGBT content in school or TV shows for under-18s.
The Hungarian Government said it is meant to protect children but critics of the legislation believe it links homosexuality with paedophilia.
Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Ms Maitlis confronted the politician with criticism from Von der Leyen, saying the Hungarian Government is “using the protection of children, which everyone, of course, wants as an excuse to discriminate against people”, which she called “disgraceful”.
She said: “You know that the EU Commission said it’s incompatible with international human rights standards.
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“You know, that the Netherlands has told you to respect LGBT rights or leave the EU block.”
Unprovoked by the presenter’s questioning, Zoltan Kovacs said: “Well, we’ve seen that political opinion being broadcasted but the EU is coming into areas where it has no mandate.
“And I believe the treaty is very clear about competencies, and the rights on behalf of the European institutions.”
He continued: “We clearly know, it’s clearly written in the treaty that school and parental issues do not belong to the European Union.
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“72 percent of LGBTQ Hungarians are nervous to show their feelings in public, that you don’t want to see LGBTQ Hungarians feel unsafe on their streets because of the law your government is introducing.”
In response, Kovacs said they are hosting a referendum in order for the Hungarians to “express their true opinion”.
He said: “Well, the real numbers are going to be shown by the referendum.
“We have decided that the referendum would be the best tool here. Nobody can question actually the results and the ratio of a referendum ahead of us.”