Amidst the ongoing celebration of Pride month worldwide, the parliament of Hungary has passed a highly condemnable law prohibiting the dissemination of content deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change norms in schools.
According to amendments submitted to the bill last week, under-18s cannot be shown content that promotes gender change or homosexuality. This also pertains to advertisements. Furthermore, the law establishes a list of organisations that are permitted to provide sex education in schools.
The bill was enacted by Fidesz, the conservative ruling party, with the goal of “protecting children,” as reported by the Associated Press. In addition, the law will create a searchable registry of convicted paedophiles and increase penalties for sexual offences against children.
Human rights organisations and opposition parties have been outspoken in their vilification of this act. Even critics have denounced it as a discriminatory move done to boost support for nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban ahead of upcoming elections.
The reason being the government strategy to correlate the LGBTQ+ community with paedophilia is irrational. Moreover, Human Rights Watch in a letter also cautioned that the law could have a detrimental influence on children and “sweeping consequences for health providers, educators, and artists, among others.”
The bill is approved with a 157-to-1 vote by Hungary’s National Assembly, as it is boycotted by the opposition. Previously, the government also pushed through legislation that barred transgender and intersex people from changing their gender marker on official documents and effectively prohibited same-sex couples from adopting children. The law is hereby Orban’s latest attempt to undermine LGBTQ+ rights in Hungary.