Hungary, a land-blocked country in central Europe with a population of 10 million, has introduced an act in parliament that now outlaws “promoting or portraying” homosexuality or sex reassignment to minors and limits sexual education in schools, courtesy of Fidesz and his ruling party.
The law, which initially started out as an effort to combat sexual crimes against minors, is now being used to clamp down on the LGBTQ+ community by prohibiting sharing content with minors that are deemed to be promoting homosexuality or sex reassignment.
The law, which can be used to persecute and penalise members of the LGBTQ+ community, threatens the safety and security of the community. Conservative prime minister Viktor Orban intends to rally the conservative support in Hungary with his anti-LGBTQ measure, after a poor coronavirus response.
Let’s take a look into what the law actually prescribes, and how it endangers the LGBTQ+ community:
According to the text, “in order to reach the objectives set forth by the present law and to protect the rights of children, it is forbidden to make available for minors content that features any portrayal of sexuality as an end in itself, any deviation from the identity corresponding to one’s sex assigned at birth, sex reassignment, or promotion of homosexuality.”
“When educating students on sexual culture, sex life, sexual preferences, and sexual development, special emphasis shall be placed on following the provisions set forth by Article XVI paragraph (1) of the Fundamental Law. These activities cannot aim to promote deviation from the identity corresponding to one’s sex assigned at birth, sex reassignment, or homosexuality.”
Only organisations registered with a “state agency defined by law” may have (also registered) lectures in schools on sexual education, drug prevention, internet usage, or any other topics relating to mental and physical development. The law is pretty openly intended to exclude certain NGOs from education, the explanatory memorandum is clear: “Organisations of questionable professional credibility, created in many cases to represent certain sexual orientations,” are trying to “influence children’s sexual development with their so-called sensitivity training, causing severe damage to their physical, mental, and moral development.”
As the explanatory memorandum states, the law “amends Act XLVIII. of 2008 on Business Advertising in such a way that makes it unlawful to broadcast an advertisement to minors if the advertisement portrays sexuality as an end in itself, or portrays or promotes deviation from the identity corresponding to one’s sex at birth, sex reassignment, or homosexuality. The amendment made to the Media Act makes sure that [any such programmes] must be rated Category V (not recommended for minors). Under the proposal, advertisements must also be rated.”
The new law, banning LGBTQ+ content in Hungary, has drawn flak from leaders across the globe, especially the European Union. European leaders have even reportedly threatened Hungary over sanctions if it does not back down from its homophobic laws, which are a violation of human rights.
The European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen voiced out her opinion on Hungary’s new law, calling it a “shameful act”. “I strongly believe in a European Union where you are free to love who you want, and I believe in a European Union that embraces diversity,” she said. “So I will use all the powers of the commission to ensure that the rights of all E.U. citizens are guaranteed, whoever you are and wherever you live”, she said.
Germany left no stone unturned to show its support for the Hungarian LGBTQ+ community, by lighting up its stadiums and flying rainbow colours during the Germany-Hungary match in Euro 2020.