Fidesz, the party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, presented this Thursday (10) a bill that bans the dissemination of what legend calls the promotion of homosexuality and gender change in schools. The offensive against LGBT rights is part of Orbán’s Christian and conservative political project, which aims for his re-election in the elections scheduled for early 2022.
The proposal is an amendment to a previous bill that provides for penalties against pedophilia. The text presented prohibits minors under the age of 18 from being exposed to pornographic content or to any content that encourages gender change and homosexuality, including advertisements. Fidesz is also proposing the creation of a list of organizations authorized to conduct sex education sessions in schools.
For human rights group Hatter, the new legislation restricts free speech and children’s rights and puts the mental health of LGBT youth at risk by preventing them from accessing information and support. Hatter and six other similar bodies have asked Fidesz to withdraw its proposal, which could be voted on next week – the party and its allies have a majority in parliament, so approval is considered very likely.
Last year, a children’s book titled “Wonderland is for everyone” (Wonderland is for everyone) was heavily criticized by conservative Hungarian politicians. The collection of stories which, according to its creators, aims to help young people learn to accept minorities and to fight against prejudice and social ostracism, has been described by the government as “homosexual propaganda” and banned in schools .
The proposal presented on Thursday is compared to a Russian law passed in 2013 that bans the dissemination of “propaganda about non-traditional sex” among young Russians. In Russia, homosexuality was considered a crime until 1993 and a mental illness until 1999.
In December last year, a decision by the Hungarian Parliament to amend the country’s constitution defined “family” as “based on marriage and the relationship between parents and children”. According to the amended text, “the mother is a woman, the father a man”, and the children should be brought up in a conservative spirit. In practice, Hungarian law definitively prohibits the adoption of children by couples made up of two men or two women.
Orbán’s government has also stepped up its anti-LGBT rhetoric by prohibiting transgender people, who do not identify with their biological sex, from modifying their personal documents. The law passed last May replaces the category of “sex” in the civil status by “the sex assigned at birth”, defined as “the biological sex based on primary sexual characteristics and chromosomes”.
Same-sex relationships are still considered a crime in 69 countries, according to the leading global report on the subject released last year. The document “State Homophobia”, produced by the ILGA (International Association of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Trans and Intersex), provides data on legislation affecting individuals based on their sexual orientation and also presents an overview of advances and setbacks in 193 member countries of the United Nations (United Nations).