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Hungarian Jewish groups take defiant stand against cruel anti-LGBT+ law: ‘No one should be labeled impure’

Emma Powys Maurice June 29, 2021
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Hungary

A protester holds a placard reading “Down with the Fascist government” at a rally against the “gay propaganda” law in Budapest, Hungary on 14 June, 2021 (Gergenly Besenyei/AFP/Getty)

Jewish groups in Hungary have taken a stand against their country’s vile anti-LGBT+ “propaganda” law, warning that “no one should be labeled impure”.

The wide-reaching legislation passed by Hungary’s government this month, ostensibly to combat child sex abuse, defines any positive depiction of LGBT+ gender identity and sexuality as “gay propaganda”.

It forbids the depiction or discussion of these topics in schools, as well as any form of LGBT+ representation in advertising or media that could be seen by under-18s.

The legislation immediately set alarm bells ringing for Hungary’s Jewish community, who know all too well what it means for a minority to be scapegoated.

Mazsihisz, the largest federation of Jewish communities in Hungary, spoke out in a statement of “solidarity with all discriminated, demonised communities in the spirit of humanity”.

“The Mazsihisz, as a Jewish group, firmly believes that all people are inherently pure and their emotions do not make them unclean,” it read.

“No one should be labeled impure, be discriminated against and certainly not outlawed simply because of their orientation or identity. Such classifications destroy social cohesion and our sense of belonging.”

Although Mazsihisz didn’t mention the “gay propaganda” law by name, they nonetheless made their concerns crystal clear.

The Golem Theatre, a Budapest-based institution that deals extensively with Jewish subjects and has many Jewish members, also said on Facebook that it “stands against the propaganda law”.

The criticism isn’t limited to the Jewish community. Last week 17 EU leaders signed an open letter issuing a thinly-veiled threat against Hungary’s homophobia as they vowed to “continue fighting against discrimination towards the LGBT+ community”.

Meanwhile, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was more vocal in his condemnation.

He lambasted Hungary’s far-right prime minister Viktor Orbán as “shameless” and called on the country to be expelled from the European Union unless it backs down on its state-sanctioned bigotry.

If Hungary refuses to withdraw the law, “then as far as I am concerned, there is nothing left for them in the EU,” he said, according to DutchNews.nl. “This is such a fundamental point, that if we let that go, we are nothing more than a trading block and a currency.”

A European Commission official told Politico that the EU was considering an infringement procedure if Hungary goes ahead with implementing the new law.

“We can only formally infringe once the law has come into force, so we are warning the Hungarians that we will do so if they don’t respond to our concerns,” they said.

Related topics: Hungary, Judaism

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