Hungary bans LGBTQ content for kids

Hungary bans LGBTQ content for kids
© Getty Images

Hungary’s legislature on Tuesday approved a measure backed by members of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s party that bans the distribution of content in schools that officials believe “promote homosexuality.” 

The passage of the measure comes despite massive protests outside the parliament in Budapest on Monday and as Hungarians are becoming deeply divided over Orbán’s self-proclaimed illiberal agenda. 

The measure, which was added onto a bill originally intended to create an electronic database of people convicted of pedophilia, would effectively ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in Hungarian schools, according to Reuters

ADVERTISEMENT

The news agency noted that under the legislation, students under the age of 18 in Hungary may not be shown any content, including advertisements, that encourage homosexuality or gender transition.

The law also specifies a list of organizations allowed to provide sex-related educational materials to schools across the country. 

Leftist opposition parties that boycotted the vote and human rights groups have argued that the legislation falsely conflates pedophilia with the LGBTQ community, and that it is an additional move by Orbán and members of his Fidesz party to use their conservative agenda to infringe on the rights of citizens. 

Orbán, who is starting to face increased pushback from opposition parties ahead of the country’s 2022 national election, first served as the country’s prime minister from 1998 to 2002, and has drawn scrutiny since returning to office in 2010 following a series of actions intended to extend his influence throughout the country. 

The European Union has launched multiple probes into the Hungarian leader over concerns on the erosion of the rule of law, particularly in measures altering the nation’s courts, media outlets and education regulations. 

Late last year, Hungarian lawmakers passed a measure amending the constitution to effectively ban adoption by same-sex couples by officially defining a family as “based on marriage and the parent-child relation. The mother is a woman, the father a man.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

The country previously passed legislation preventing Hungarians from changing the gender listed on personal documents. 

Orbán himself has directly signaled his hostility toward the LGBTQ community, saying in October, “gays are to leave our children alone.” 

The European Parliament's rapporteur on the situation in Hungary, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, said the new law Tuesday was an example of “using child protection as an excuse to target LGBTIQ people,” which the lawmaker added is “damaging to all children in Hungary,” according to Reuters.