Luxembourg’s openly gay prime minister has backed LGBT rights in the European Union’s parliament and chastised member state Hungary, which wants to curtail addressing the issue of homosexuality at school and in the media.
Xavier Bettel told legislators at the plenary session in Strasbourg, France: “If there’s anyone in this house who thinks that you’ve become a homosexual by watching the television or listening to a song, then you’ve not understood anything.
“The most difficult (thing) for a homosexual is to accept themselves.”
Mr Bettel has often spoken about his sexuality and has been especially critical of Hungary.
He already came out against Budapest in 2021 when a law was approved to prohibit sharing content on homosexuality or sex reassignment to people under 18 in school sex education programme, films or advertisements.
Mr Bettel, who married his husband eight years ago, believes Hungary is out of touch with many of the other EU member states.
He said that he knew becoming public about one’s homosexuality could be dangerous in too many nations outside the EU.
“I could end up in prison, face (a) life sentence. And soon maybe, in a European Union member state, I would only be able to talk about this in secret, because I would be accused of perverting the young generation,” he added.
“I am ashamed, Madam President, that some colleagues want to win votes at the expense of minorities. We’ve had that before in our history.”
Mr Bettel has often taken a strong stand. At an EU-Arab League summit in Egypt in 2019, Mr Bettel told Arab leaders that he was married to a man and would probably face capital punishment in many of their countries.