British racing driver Lewis Hamilton has spoken out against Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Taking to his Instagram Stories, the 36-year-old showcased his support for the queer community in a lengthy caption.
“To all in this beautiful country Hungary. Ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, I want to share my support for those affected by the government anti-LGBTQ+ law,” he said.
“It is unacceptable, cowardly and misguiding for those in power [to suggest] such a law. Everyone deserves to have the freedom to be themselves no matter who they love or how they identify.
“I urge the people of Hungary to vote in the upcoming referendum to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community they need our support more than ever.”
Hamilton wasn’t the only F1 driver who showcased their solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community.
Taking to Twitter, Sebastian Vettel uploaded a photo of his shoes on the race track featuring a rainbow design.
His tweet also contained a rainbow emoji and a hashtag for the Grand Prix.
Vettel elaborated on his support for the LGBTQ+ community in a statement on Thursday (29 July).
“I find it embarrassing for the country,” said Vettel.
“I can’t understand why they (the government) are struggling to see why everybody should be free to do what they like.”
Hamilton and Vettel’s support comes days after Victor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, and his government passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that bans “content promoting gender change or homosexuality” within the school curriculum.”
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) July 29, 2021
The bill has widely been compared to Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, which was passed in 2013, that bans disseminating “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relations” among Russians.
Over the last few weeks, the law has come under fire by LGBTQ+ activists and the European Commission.
MEPs called the legislation “a clear breach of the EU’s values, principles and law” and last week urged the European Commission to pursue a legal case against Orbán’s government.
459 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of the resolution, with 147 against and 58 abstaining in Strasbourg. If the case is brought to the European Court of Justice, the country could face financial penalties.
Ursula Von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, called the law “disgraceful” in a statement.
“This law uses the protection of children, to which we are all committed, as an excuse to severely discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. This law is disgraceful.”
Last week, Orbán announced that a referendum regarding the archaic law will take place.
“LGBTQ+ activists visit kindergartens and schools and conduct sexual education classes. They want to do this here in Hungary as well,” he stated in a Facebook video on Wednesday (21 July).