The Hungarian parliament has passed a law on Tuesday that will ban the dissemination of any content deemed to promote homosexuality in schools, despite protests by businesses like Google and ViacomCBS.
Unlike most other EU nations, gay marriage is illegal in Hungary and Hungary government recently banned same-sex couples from legally adopting children. Upon taking over in 2010, Hungary President, Viktor Orban amended the Hungarian constitution to redefine marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
Orban said at the time “The father is a man, the mother is a woman” and “every child has a right to receive Christian upbringing” and “every child has a right to live according to their sex at birth.”
A gay rights organization in Hungary, Budapest Pride, has called on U.S. president Joe Biden to discuss the matter with Orban when he meets with him at the NATO summit in Brussels on Tuesday.
Some international corporations that have operations in Hungary, including Google and ViacomCBS, also condemned the law.
however, Lawmakers from the ruling nationalist Fidesz party overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill, while left-wing opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote.
A member of the European parliament Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Said: “Using child protection as an excuse to target LGBTQ people is damaging to all children in Hungary,”
Specifically, the passed proposal involves the prohibition of discussions on LGBT issues, including gender change and homosexuality, to students under the age of 18 and was tacked onto a broadly supported separate bill that imposes harsher penalties on pedophilia, making it difficult to defeat.
The provision to ban school talks on LGBT issues was widely condemned by the opposition and human rights activists who asserted the combined legislation wrongly conflates homosexuality with pedophilia.
The new Hungarian law against the dissemination of LGBT content in similar to legislation passed by the Russia parliament in June 2013 which outlawed what it called the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among Russian students.
Some activists have directly linked the current Hungarian legislation to the Russian “anti-gay propaganda” laws of 2013. David Vig, chief of Amnesty International- Hungary, said the bill has “dark echoes” of Russia’s laws and will “further stigmatize” LGBT people in Hungary, exposing them to “greater discrimination in what is already a hostile environment.”