Thousands of people protested outside the parliament in Hungary yesterday (14 June), urging politicians to reject a new law that would ban discussion of LGBT+ people at schools or in the media.
LGBT+ activists and human rights campaigners warn that the proposed legislation would “trample” on LGBT+ rights, and stigmatise and erase LGBT+ people in Hungary.
“This is horrible and inhumane,” kindergarten assistant Dominika Pandzsa told Reuters. “They are trying to strip people of all their rights. This would lock some kids in the closet, and they should be given the opportunity to come out.”
The protest is the second this month, and comes after a year in which Hungary’s extreme anti-LGBT+ prime minister Viktor Orban used emergency coronavirus powers to outlaw legal gender recognition for trans people, redefine marriage as between one man and one woman in Hungary’s constitution, and prohibit same-sex couples adopting children.
Lawmakers will vote on the new anti-LGBT+ law today. It is expected to pass, because of the majority held by right-wing party Fidesz and because the anti-LGBT+ law has been tacked as an amendment onto a popular bill aimed at fighting paedophilia, making it difficult for opponents to vote against it.
The amendment will make it illegal to depict or discuss different gender identities and sexual orientations in public, including in schools and the media.
Activists have likened it to Russia’s 2013 law banning “gay propaganda“, widely seen as a tool of anti-LGBT+ discrimination.
“I call on all Hungarian Members of Parliament to reject the proposal to ban the ‘portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality’ aimed at children,” said Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights.
“I urge you to remain vigilant against such initiatives to push through measures that limit human rights or stigmatise against some members of society.”