January 30, 2023


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Victor Orban justifies Hungarian law: “It is about the way parents want to educate their children about sex.”

From the Euro to the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, Hungarian legislation banning the dissemination of homosexual content to minors has provoked strong reactions in Europe.

Update this speech, which marks a turning point in Sovereign Prime Minister Victor Orban’s plan to establish a “new era” of liberal culture.

– No lessons, no ads about homosexuality

Initially, it was a law aimed at combating juvenile delinquency, proposing measures such as making the database of convicted individuals publicly accessible or banning certain occupations. But in early June, members of the ruling Fidesz party immediately put forward amendments condemned by human rights defenders.

It states: “Pornography or content depicting sexuality or promoting gender identity, sexual orientation and homosexuality is not accessible to anyone under the age of 18.” The text states that sex education classes must now be offered by government-recognized institutions. Condemning the existence of structures with “questionable professional credibility” that seeks to “affect the sexual development of children” and “cause serious damage to their physical, mental and moral development”.

– What about books and pictures?

What happens to books, series or films that mention homosexuality if the ads are explicitly stated by law? Asked on Thursday, Mr. Orban’s chief executive did not give a clear answer.

“The text, by design, is very vague,” Salt Sekares, a representative of the Helsinki Committee (HHC), a human rights organization, told AFP in mid-June. “The consequences are not yet fully known to us”, but the law certainly warns that by the time it is scheduled for July 24 in the Hungarian capital, there will be a “chaotic effect” on organizers of events such as the Pride March.

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– “Protecting children”: Orban’s argument

When he arrived at the summit on Thursday, Victor Orban promised that the law “does not target homosexuals.” The government argues that it “protects the rights of children, guarantees the rights of parents and does not apply to the sexual orientation of those over 18”, denying “any discriminatory elements”.

The speech, which was approved by 157 delegates on June 15, was signed by President Janos Atar on Wednesday evening. It is expected to be published in the official journal soon, with effect from July.

In 2010, Mr. Before Orban returned to power, Hungary was one of the most progressive countries in the region: homosexuality had been abolished there since the early 1960s and civil union among same-sex partners was recognized in early 1996. But the prime minister has tightened the law over the years, which has sparked anti-gay sentiment in the media and among politicians. Hungary, which is routinely accused of violating EU values, last year banned the registration of sex reassignment and made adoption by same-sex couples impossible.