Minister for Equality Roderic O'Gorman has said a new law in Hungary banning LGBTQ educational content for children is a "clear attempt to target and erase visibility and self-expression" of this community in Hungarian society.

Speaking today, he described the move from the Hungarian government is "homophobia dressed up as a child protection measure".

It comes as the EU has raised concerns with Hungary over the law passed last week.

Minister O'Gorman said: "This measures contravenes EU law and has absolutely no place in European society.

"I was glad that Ireland joined 15 other EU Member States to condemn this law, and that the Commission has now written to the Hungarian Justice Minister to outline these concerns. We await her response, and I hope that at this stage, the Hungarian Government will scrap this law."

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, meanwhile, has said he is "very concerned" about the change to Hungary's laws.

In a statement, he said: "The potential for this legislation to harm the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI+ community in Hungary, particularly young people, is extremely worrying."

He said promoting the rights of the LGBTQI+ community is "a human rights priority" for Ireland.

"As such, Ireland has co-signed a declaration led by the Benelux countries at the 22 June General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg.

"This declaration expresses grave concern at Hungary's use of child protection as a pretext for introducing measures that violate freedom of expression and other rights as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and unjustifiably target the LGBTQI+ community."

"I would strongly urge Hungary to reconsider this new law and cease this discrimination against LGBTQI+ people."

European reaction

European Commission President chief Ursula von der Leyen has said the new law in Hungary was a "shame" that went against European Union values.

"This bill clearly discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. And it goes against all the values, the fundamental values of the European Union," she told a media conference in Brussels.

She said her European Commission would raise legal concerns over the law with Budapest, and added: "I will use all the powers of the commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed whoever you are, and wherever you live."

The issue surrounding the Hungarian law, passed on 15 June, has blown up into a Europe-wide controversy.

UEFA rejected a request by Munich to light its stadium in LGTBQ rainbow colours for a Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 match tonight.

German fans wave rainbow flags outside the stadium in Munich this evening

Munich responded by saying it would instead decorate other city landmarks in rainbow colours, including the town hall and a huge wind turbine close to the stadium.

Minister O'Gorman said that UEFA's decision in this regard was "deeply disappointing".

Fourteen EU countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy, have also signed a joint declaration initiated by Belgium voicing "grave concern" at the Hungarian law.

"Stigmatising LGBTIQ persons constitute a clear breach of their fundamental right to dignity, as provided for in the EU Charter and international law," it said.

The issue is likely to elbow its way into an EU summit being held Thursday and Friday in Brussels, which Hungary's nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, was scheduled to attend.