Hungary to ban LGBTQI content for children through anti-pedophile law
Proposal echoes Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda law”
Hungarian MPs are due to vote on a package of bills officially aimed at punishing pedophilia on Tuesday. This goal, however, is just the front of new legislation that would (more) stigmatize LGBTQI people, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán prepares for an election next spring that could prove to be his most political challenge. difficult to date.
Responding to the tabling of anti-LGBTQI legal amendments that would ban education and advertising that are deemed to “popularize”, or even portray, consensual homosexual conduct or asserting one’s gender to children, the director of Amnesty International Hungary, Dávid Víg said:
These proposals, which have grim echoes of Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda law”, will further stigmatize LGBTI people, exposing them to greater discrimination in an environment already hostile to those who are or perceived to be LGBTI.
The new legislation demands that any media content that “propagates or depicts homosexuality” not be shown to children under the age of 18, and advertisements that show “a diversion of one’s biological sex, a gender shift, propagate or depict the homosexuality ”are not accessible to those under the age of 18. 18 years old.
The bill also requires that television and radio advertisements showing “a diversion of one’s biological sex, a gender shift, propagating or depicting homosexuality” may only be broadcast between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Violators of this regulation could be fined or have their distribution suspended.
The proposal also requires that human rights education courses in schools on “sexual orientation” can only be organized if they respect Hungary’s “constitutional identity” and its Christian culture and both. that they do not propagate consensual homosexual conduct or gender affirmation.
Fidesz plans to ban the “Representation and promotion of gender identity different from the sex assigned at birth, sex reassignment and homosexuality” in schools and in public service advertisements for those under 18.
As if homosexuality, bisexuality, or being transgender was something you received as a shiny gift on your 18th birthday.
“However, sexual orientation and gender identity are a natural attribute of all of us, ”said Hattér rights group in a statement, signed by ten other rights groups.
This step endangers the mental health of LGBTQI youth by making it more difficult for them to receive preventive education and affirmative support in a timely manner. They have the right to an education which helps them to become healthy and whole people, which means that they should receive relevant and comprehensive information about sexuality and family life, he added.
Responding to the bill’s cries of hostility towards lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, Fidesz lawmaker Gabriella Selmeczi, one of those who submitted the bill, denied that it was discriminatory or antiliberal.
True liberalism is when children are left alone with questions about their sexual orientation until they are 18
, it was cited by the Associated Press.
The statement recalled that the European Court of Human Rights stressed that legislation like this only reinforces prejudice and homophobia, which is incompatible with democratic values.
Prejudice against LGBTQI people can only get worse
If the bill passes, children will be even more vulnerable to bullying, even if the situation is already serious: According to a 2020 survey, half of the teachers who responded experienced prejudice against LGBTQI people among their students. The government is trying to ban exactly those informative and sensitive trainings that could help combat these prejudices.
While on her way to a protest against the bill on Monday, Budapest resident Sára (16) said she “got scared” when she read the bill.
“I already feel like I’m constantly circling around people and situations at school, around family friends and in public. There’s no way of knowing how someone will react to this. Years ago there was a debate among the children in my elementary school almost every week “whether LGBTQ people deserve to live or not”.
Reading this bill made me feel silenced, small and guilty, like something was wrong with me because I was part of the LGBTQ community.
She added that this legislation “would not only make LGBTQ people more ashamed of themselves, but it would also embolden anti-LGBTQ people and make them feel that they can harass, intimidate and hurt LGBTQ people even more,” without remorse or consequences. And bear in mind that I’m a privileged person (middle class, white), so I’m not even the one affected the most by this. “
According to a study conducted by the Háttér Society in 2017 on the national school environment,
more than half of LGBTQI youth felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 37% because of their gender expression.
Almost two-thirds of LGBTQI students have been verbally harassed for their sexual orientation and more than half for their gender expression. Finally, 13% of LGBTQI students have experienced physical violence at school because of their sexual orientation and 10% because of their gender identity or gender expression: they were hit, kicked or injured with an object.
The United Nations Commission on the Rights of the Child announced in early 2020 that it expected action to end discrimination and harassment in schools; that the Hungarian government should take action to protect LGBTQI children through awareness campaigns and school programs.
“On the other hand, now the government would abandon LGBTQI youth: that would make programs and discussions promoting sensitivity and acceptance impossible. The state must protect children, including, of course, LGBTQI youth,” said the rights group in its joint statement.
Of LGBTQI Hungarians, 42% have thought about suicide and 30% have attempted it. Research conducted by ILGA-Europe has also shown that LGBTQI young people commit suicide mainly because they find their situation desperate: the exclusion and harassment they experience within the family, in education or among their peers. or their religious community are considered unbearable. The Hungarian state is now considering intensifying the suffering of LGBTQI youth, following in the footsteps of those autocratic states with which the government enjoys increasingly friendly relations.
The groups called on Fidesz to withdraw the bill that will be voted on tomorrow.
LGBTQ people are the new migrants
The PA said that after successfully portraying migrants as a serious threat to Hungary and the nation’s Christian identity and winning elections on this theme, Prime Orbán’s Fidesz party now describes the rights movement. LGBTI people as a threat.
While in a state of danger (special legal order) due to the coronavirus pandemic, Orbán’s government redefined marriage as the union between a man and a woman in the constitution and made the adoption gay practically impossible.
It also banned the legal status of all transgender people, including those who had already made the switch – retroactive legislation that the constitutional court ruled unconstitutional.
Last year, a children’s book, “Wonderland is for everyone”, which aimed to help young people learn to accept minorities and tackle social ostracism, caused a sensation in Hungarian politics. . Far-right politician Dóra Dúró publicly shredded one of the copies of the book, condemning it – along with the government – as “homosexual propaganda” that should be banned in schools. Asked about the book, Orbán replied:
“[…] Hungary has regulations relating to homosexuality and the basis of these is a tolerant and patient approach. Hungarians are patient with this phenomenon. We put up with provocative demons well, if not without remarks. When it comes to homosexuality, Hungary is a tolerant and patient country.
But there is a red line that cannot be crossed. I would summarize my opinion as follows: Go. Our. Children. Alone.
Last week, Orbán reported an increase in the monthly minimum wage to 200,000 HUF and reaffirmed his intention of a big tax refund for families in 2022, paving the way for his re-election campaign.
“I felt disappointed but not surprised,” said Liza (15), also on her way to the protest.
“I figured that if you are not affected by this, the easiest solution is to ignore it. Then I realized that these issues are about me and are affecting me, and I don’t know how to stop them.
That is why you must go beyond your means. This is why it is not enough not to be homophobic or transphobic.
“Passing this bill would prevent anti-LGBTQ people from learning about the history and struggle of the very people they hate. It would only add to the hatred and prejudices that they have in them. your palm, so even if you have homophobic parents or ignorant teachers, your smartphone is a doorway to the outside world, and then you can work on break the cycle of ignorance,», She concluded.
The far-right nationalist party Jobbik has said it will vote “yes” on the bill as it welcomes any tougher penalties for pedophile crimes. He admitted that they were aware of the “clever mix of unrelated issues”, adding that they would remove the unrelated issues that Fidesz “smuggled in” after the elections.