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Hungary continues to defy EU over vile anti-LGBT+ law, insists it’s not homophobic to ‘protect children’

Josh Milton September 18, 2021
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EU may sanction Hungary for law banning 'promotion' of LGBT rights

The prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán has launched salvos after salvos against the LGBT+ community. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)

Hungary has continued to brazenly defy the European Union over its reviled anti-LGBT+ law, insisting that it’s not homophobic to “protect children”.

In what has emerged as a war of words and checkbooks, EU officials have sparred with Hungary after the country rolled out a devastating law that banned the “promotion” of LGBT+ people to minors.

Despite the ever-mounting backlash against the bill, Hungarian leaders have continued to insist the policy – tucked inside anti-paedophilia legislation – is not harmful.

On Wednesday (15 September), justice minister Judit Varga doubled down on supporting the ban, saying that it is the country’s right to protect its “culture, national identity and the family values rooted in them”.

Addressing EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, she said on Facebook: “We reject categorically the assumption that the purpose of the law would be exclusion or discrimination.

“It’s only about the upbringing of Hungarian children and the protection of minors.

Hungary’s justice minister Judit Varga. (JOHN THYS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“They try to punish us only because we don’t let the LGBTQ lobby into Hungarian schools and kindergartens.”

“The law doesn’t interfere in the lives of adults in any way, it doesn’t change the rights of sexual minorities in any way,” she said of that law that changes the rights of LGBT+ people.

What does Hungary’s anti-LGBT+ law do?

Critics have argued that the law, a slew of last-minute amendments to the Child Protection Act, the Family Protection Act, the Act on Business Advertising Activity, the Media Act and the Public Education Act, equates being gay with paedophilia.

The law itself requires the labeling of all content that is “not recommended for those under 18 years of age” – LGBT+ topics included.

In terms of the media, the restrictions see television programmes that portray LGBT+ people limited to being aired between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

Similar limitations apply to school sexual education curriculums, with what teachers can educate being limited to a government-approved list, and advertisements.

“We keep ensuring that only parents can decide how to raise their own child,” Varga added.

“No one can force them to let their child receiving sexual information without their approval or facing harmful content that is inappropriate for their age.”

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán‘s has long sought in his premiership to position himself as something of a protector for so-called “traditional families”.

When defending the law in July, he told reporters outside Brussels: “The European Parliament and the European Commission want us to allow LGBTQ activists into our nursery and elementary schools.

“No matter how hard they try, we won’t allow LGBT+ activists among our children in nursery and elementary schools”.

But as the commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen said at a July debate in Strasbourg, France, of the bill: “Homosexuality is equated with pornography.

“This legislation uses the protection of children […] to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

“It is a disgrace.”

 

Related topics: Hungary

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