Hungary launches chilling bid to ban children from learning about LGBT+ people

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Lawmakers in Hungary are considering a legal ban on the so-called “promotion” of LGBT+ people to children.

The proposed ban is an amendment to a bill on punishment for paedophilia, and was submitted to parliament on Thursday (10 June) by the ruling Fidesz party, led by staunchly anti-LGBT+ prime minister Viktor Orbán.

The bill, which could go to a vote in Hungary’s parliament next week, would make it illegal to show minors materials that “promote” being gay and transgender under the same law that prohibits showing children pornography.

According to Reuters, the proposed legislation states that the rule would also apply to advertisements, and suggests setting up a list of approved organisations which are allowed to teach sex education sessions in schools.

Hungarian LGBT+ rights organisation Háttér Társaság compared the bill amendment to Russia’s “gay propaganda” ban.

It said in a statement: “Fidesz would severely restrict freedom of speech and children’s rights with its new proposal, similar to the Russian propaganda law… 42 per cent of Hungarian LGBT+ people have thought about suicide and 30 per cent have even attempted it.”

It added: “This move endangers the mental health of LGBT+ youth and prevents them from accessing information and affirmative support in a timely, preventive manner.”

The bill is the latest in a long string of attacks against the LGBT+ community in Hungary by Orbán and his party.

Since beginning his third term as prime minister in 2018, Orbán, who will have to fight for reelection in 2022, has outlawed same-sex marriage in the Hungary’s constitution, banned gay adoption, and even launched a devastating law to legally erase trans people by forcing them to use deadnames and the gender they were assigned at birth on all ID documents.

The law, known as Section 33, was thrown out by Hungary’s top court in March this year.

This meant that those who had legally transitioned before the law was brought in were able to keep their correct gender on documents. But, anyone beginning their transition after May 2020 remains unable to gain legal recognition.