The European Union condemned a recently passed Hungarian law that bans the portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality to minors. Several thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Budapest to protest the law passed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party and right-wing opposition group Jobbik.
In a message made public prior to the parliamentary vote of the bill, EU Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović called on all Members of Parliament to reject the proposal. “I urge you to remain vigilant against such initiatives to push through measures that limit human rights or stigmatize against some members of society,” the Commissioner said, according to a statement posted on the website of the Council of Europe.
The broadly phrased amendments to Hungary’s Child Protection Act, the Family Protection Act, the Act on Business Advertising Activity, the Media Act and the Public Education Act outlaw any depiction or discussion of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations in the public sphere, including in schools and the media.
“This is not only an affront against the rights and identities of LGBTI persons but also curtails the freedom of expression and education of all Hungarians,” said Commissioner Mijatović. “The proposed legislative amendments run counter to international and European human rights standards. It is misleading and false to claim that they are being introduced to protect children.”
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, a member of the European parliament stated that "Using child protection as an excuse to target LGBTQ people is damaging to all children in Hungary."
In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a legislative ban on “propaganda of non traditional sexual relations aimed at minors” was harmful to children and discriminatory, and that it reinforced prejudice against LGBTI people, which is incompatible with the values of a democratic society. International human rights bodies have repeatedly stressed that children and young people have the right to receive comprehensive education on sexuality, which derives from a range of protected rights, including the right to live free from violence and discrimination, and the right to quality and inclusive education, including human rights education. This is not possible in an environment that effectively bans any public discussion surrounding LGBTI issues.
According to a 2010 EU recommendation to member states on measures to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, countries in the Council of Europe have the responsibility to combat prejudices and discrimination against and to work for the acceptance of LGBTI people.
After Hungary’s Parliament passed the controversial bill that would ban discussions of homosexuality or gender change in schools, thousands of Hungarians rallied in front of Parliament in Budapest. The protest highlights that some aspects of Orbán’s social policies have deeply divided the nation.
In defense of the legislation, the ruling Fidesz party argued that some organizations seek “to influence the sexual development of children with so-called sensitizing programs as part of anti-discrimination campaigns, which can gravely harm their physical, mental and moral development."
The law is not the first instance of anti-LGBTQ legislation passed by the Hungarian Parliament. The government led by Orbán redefined marriage in the constitution as the union between one man and one woman, and limited gay adoption. It also outlawed legal status for transgender people. At the time of amending the constitution to ban gay marriage, Orbán said “The father is a man, the mother is a woman” and “every child has a right to receive Christian upbringing” and “every child has a right to live according to their sex at birth.”
Human rights groups said the recently passed law is similar to Russian legislation, which outlawed the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” Hungarian gay rights organization, Budapest Pride, called on US President Joe Biden to discuss the matter with Orbán when they meet at the NATO summit in Brussels.
“This is a dark day for LGBTI rights and for Hungary. Like the infamous Russian ‘propaganda law,’ this new legislation will further stigmatise LGBTI people and their allies. It will expose people already facing a hostile environment to even greater discrimination,” Director of Amnesty International Hungary, Dávid Vig said in a statement.
With the exception of Jobbik, all Hungarian opposition parties raised their voice against the law. "The Russian template gives us a clear picture of the effect such hatemongering has on a society," opposition party Momentum Chairman András Fekete-Győr said in a statement.
Some international companies with operations in Hungary, including Google and ViacomCBS, also condemned the law.
No comment yet. Be the first!
Top 5 Articles
Articles by Date
- ►2021 (559)
- ►2020 (899)
- ►2019 (237)
- ►2018 (161)
- ►2017 (310)
- ►2016 (279)
- ►2015 (324)
- ►2014 (229)
- ►2013 (233)
- ►2012 (250)
- ►2011 (303)
- ►2010 (167)
- ►2009 (43)
- ►2008 (3)