Lewis Hamilton celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain on July 18, 2021. (Dan Istitene/Formula 1/Getty)
The Hungarian justice minister has accused Lewis Hamilton of spreading “fake news” for speaking out against the country’s vile anti-LGBT+ “propaganda” law.
Commenting ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton openly criticised the “cowardly” Hungarian government over the new law, which bans the portrayal of LGBT+ people in media, school materials and advertisements.
“To all in this beautiful country Hungary,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram Thursday (29 July). “Ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, I want to share my support for those affected by the government’s anti-LGBTQ+ law.
“It is unacceptable, cowardly and misguiding for those in power suggest such a law. Everyone deserves to have the freedom to be themselves, no matter who they love or how they identify.”
The “propaganda” ban, ostensibly introduced to protect children, equates LGBT+ identities with paedophilia and runs counter to several EU laws.
It’s faced widespread condemnation from international leaders, lawmakers and activists alike, prompting the EU to launch legal action against Hungary for its “violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people”.
Lewis Hamilton ‘should stick to driving,’ minister says
So far Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban has rebuffed the criticism and doubled down on his views by announcing a national referendum on LGBT+ rights – but despite his bravado, it seems Lewis Hamilton’s comments really stung.
The racer’s remarks prompted fierce criticism from Orban’s justice minister, Judit Varga, who told Kronen Zeitung: “I have sadly seen that Lewis Hamilton is also joining the camp of international fake news manufacturers by attacking our child protection law.
“I suggest that Lewis Hamilton should read the Hungarian Child Protection Act,” she continued. “And then the shoe-maker should stick to making shoes, and a F1 driver should stick to driving.”
Unfortunately for Hungary, the uncomfortable criticism isn’t going away. Hamilton’s fellow Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel also showed his support for the LGBT+ community by stepping into the country wearing a pair of Pride-themed Converse.
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) July 29, 2021
Asked about his conspicuous choice of footwear, Vettel told Autosport it was “embarrassing for a country who is in the EU to have to vote or have some laws like this.”
“It is obviously not for us to make the law and it is not our role, but I think it is to express support for those affected by it,” he added.