The Hungarian parliament passed a law on Tuesday which banned the dissemination of content deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change in the country’s schools. This new law received sharp criticism from both human rights groups and opposition political parties alike.
In order to make the law more palatable to some, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán added it to a law which intensified the punishment handed out to those convicted of pedophilia. This made it much more difficult for those who supported LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other non-heterosexual or non-cisgender) rights to vote against the law.
The Law and Reactions to It
This new law prevents any person under the age of 18 in Hungary from being shown any content promoting either gender change or homosexuality. Advertisements are not spared from the law. The law also provides a list of organizations authorized to deliver sex education in schools.
The vast majority of Fidesz politicians supported the law. Fidesz is the conservative nationalist political party which Orbán leads. Many opposition politicians boycotted the vote.
Critics of the law say that it incorrectly conflates the issues of pedophilia and LGBT+ rights. A mass rally was held outside parliament on Monday to protest the law. Several rights groups also put pressure on Fidesz to rescind the law.
French politician Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the situation in Hungary, harshly criticized the new law. “Using child protection as an excuse to target LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer) people is damaging to all children in Hungary,” she said.
LGBT+ Rights in Hungary
Hungary does not recognize same-sex marriage, while only heterosexual couples are permitted to adopt children. The current government has redefined marriage to be a union between one man and one woman. The government has also placed this definition in the country’s constitution.
This new law is similar to one which was passed in Russia in 2013. Russia’s law on dissemination of pro-LGBT+ content outlaws the dissemination of “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” to Russian children and teenagers.
The European Union has generally taken a negative view towards Hungary’s approach towards LGBT+ matters. Hungary is one of the few countries in the EU which does not promote LGBT+ rights.
Orbán is known for his hardline conservative approach to social matters. He has sometimes been criticized for his discriminatory approach towards LGBT+ people and immigrants. Orbán’s controversial stances have left Hungary more divided than ever before. As a result, he is now at risk of being voted out of office in the country’s election to be held next year.
Since 2010, Orbán has won three consecutive elections by large margins. However, opposition parties have formed their strongest coalition to date since the beginning of Orbán’s tenure. This coalition has now caught up to Fidesz in opinion polls.
16th June 2021 11:32
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