BUDAPEST. Hungary: Hungarian lawmakers passed a law Tuesday that bans sharing any content with minors that promotes homosexuality or sex reassignment. This comes after critics accused the parliament of cracking down on LGBT rights.
The conservative ruling party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban that has a parliamentary majority, introduced the legislation with the motive to restrict the rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in the European Union nation located in central Europe, AP reported.
The National Assembly passed the bill on a 157-1 vote. One independent lawmaker voted against the law and opposition parties other than the right-wing Jobbik party, boycotted the voting session to protest discrimination against LGBT people.
The legislation presented by the ruling party Fidesz aims at combating pedophilia but according to critics, it wrongly fuses pedophilia with LGBT issues. The ban, they said, “severely limits” freedom of expression and children’s rights.
Denouncing the legislation that bars the representation of any sexual orientation besides heterosexual and denies dissemination of content that encourages gender change and homosexuality in schools, twitterverse expressed anger and disappointment in the Hungarian government.
“The Hungarian Parliament has today passed by 157–1 an anti-LGBT+ propaganda law which would put Section 28 to shame. The ‘portrayal or promotion’ of homosexuality or gender reassignment is now banned. Solidarity to my Hungarian friends @hattertarsasag. The EU must now act!” a Twitter user wrote.
In a bid to pressurize lawmakers to make them withdraw the bill, thousands of people including, LGBT and human rights activists held protests in front of the Hungary parliament on Monday.
“1000s gathering in front of #Hungary parliament protesting the anti-LGBT bill equating sexual and gender diversity with pedophilia. One sign reads “Can our child look at us?” #LGBT,” Lydia Gall tweeted.
Csaba Domotor, the Fidesz state secretary, described the goal as “the protection of children,” noting that the changes include the introduction of a searchable registry of convicted pedophiles.
“Pedophiles won’t be able to hide anymore – there are similar solutions in other countries, too. The criminal code will be even more strict. Punishments will be more severe. No one can get away with atrocities with light punishments and parole,” he said.
Budapest Mayor Karacsony took to Facebook and criticized the measure saying, “On this shameful day, the opposition’s place is not in the parliament but on the streets.”
Lawmaker Gergely Arato, Democratic Coalition parliamentary grouping, said the changes violate the standards of parliamentary democracy, rule of law and human rights.
“Today’s decision in #Hungary’s parliament represents another severe state discrimination against #LGBTIQ people,” Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth of Germany tweeted Tuesday. “This law goes against everything we regard as our common European values. Full solidarity and support for LGBTIQ people in Hungary.”
- Hungary doesn’t recognize gay marriages
- Homosexual couples can’t legally adopt babies
- School talks, educational programs on LGBT banned
- Movies, advertisements promoting homosexuality barred
The U.S. Embassy in Budapest is “deeply concerned” by anti-LGBTQI+ aspects of the legislation, Reuters reported.
“The United States stands for the idea that governments should promote freedom of expression and protect human rights, including the rights of members of the LGBTQI+ community,” the embassy said in a statement on its website.
“The government is trying to spread hatred,” Amnesty International said adding, politicians “endanger people’s lives because of cruel political movements.”
LGBT activists in Hungary and all over the world condemned the government’s move, comparing it to a Russian law that banned the so-called gay “propaganda” in 2013.