Fidesz, the party of Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, presented this Thursday (10) a bill that prohibits the dissemination of what the legend classifies as promoting homosexuality and gender change in schools. The offensive against LGBT rights is part of Orbán’s Christian and conservative political project, which seeks re-election in the election scheduled for early 2022.
The proposal is an amendment to a previous bill that provides for punishment of pedophilia. The text presented prohibits minors under 18 from being exposed to pornographic content or any content that encourages gender change and homosexuality, including advertisements. Fidesz also proposes the creation of a list of organizations authorized to carry out sex education sessions in schools.
For the human rights advocacy group Hatter, the new legislation restricts freedom of expression and children’s rights and puts the mental health of LGBT youth at risk by preventing them from gaining access to 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 called “Wonderland Is For Everyone” (Wonderland Is For Everyone) was heavily criticized by conservative Hungarian politicians. The collection of stories that, according to its creators, aims to help young people learn to accept minorities and fight prejudice and social ostracism, was labeled by the government as “homosexual propaganda” and banned from schools.
The proposal presented on Thursday is being compared to a Russian law passed in 2013 that prohibits the spread of “propaganda about non-traditional sex” among Russian youth. 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 modified text, “the mother is a woman, the father a man”, and children should be brought up in a conservative spirit. In practice, Hungarian law definitively prohibited the adoption of children by couples consisting of two men or two women.
Orbán’s government has also intensified its anti-LGBT rhetoric by prohibiting transgender people, who do not identify with their biological gender, from altering their personal documents. The law passed in May last year replaces the category of “sex” in the civil registry with “sex assigned at birth”, defined as “biological sex based on primary sexual characteristics and chromosomes”.
Same-sex relationships are still considered a crime in 69 countries, according to the world’s leading report on the subject released last year. The document “State Homophobia”, produced by 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 UN (United Nations).