Hungary’s chilling new law lets people ‘report’ same-sex parents to authorities

Viktor Orban, wearing a blue suit and teal tie, looks off.

Hungary’s government has passed a new law that will allow its citizens to report same-sex families with children to local authorities.

The bill, proposed by Hungarian deputy prime minister Zsolt Semjén in February 2023, could see same-sex families reprimanded for breaching the “constitutionally recognised role of marriage and the family”.

Lawmakers in the central European nation approved legislation this week in further exclusion of LGBTQ+ people.

Hungary’s constitution defines and protects the definition of marriage as an institution “between one man and one woman” while adding that “the mother is a woman, the father is a man”.

The bill also contains a number of clauses that cover measures to ensure authorities investigate complaints over a wide range of topics, including workplace misconduct.

It will now be moved to Viktor Orbán’s office, with the hard-line prime minster expected to sign it into law in the near future.

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Viktor Orbán at an EU council meeting.
Hungary’s right-wing prime minister Viktor Orbán has said that so-called gender propaganda is a threat to children. (Getty)

The passing of the legislation comes just days after France and Germany joined international efforts to prevent Hungary’s recent wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

In 2022 the Hungarian government passed a censorship law that sees all queer content banned for under-18s – with several EU member states uniting to launch legal action against it.

Fifteen EU member states, including France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Finland, joined the EU Commission’s infringement lawsuit.

The commission wrote that the EU, of which Hungary has been part since 2004, has “no place for discrimination” adding that Orbán was violating “several EU human rights laws and values.”

Others within the union argued that, should Hungary push back further on its obligations to abide by human rights laws, it should be thrown out of the EU.

Countries that didn’t join the lawsuit still reiterated their support for both the legal proceedings and the commission’s commitment to LGBTQ+ rights.

Czech foreign minister, Jan Lipavský, said that his country regretted that it wasn’t able to join the lawsuit, but said it was “not going to resign on this topic”.

He added: “Children are not threatened by seeing such characters on TV or in books. They are endangered by the artificial stirring up of hatred or the concealment of information.”

In response, Hungarian foreign affairs state secretary, Tamás Menczer, told the Czech Republic to “keep your hands off Hungarian children.”

Menczer said: “What happens in the Czech kindergartens and schools is a matter for the Czechs, none of my business. In Hungary, only the decision of the Hungarian people matters and Hungarians have clearly decided that the children must be protected.”

According to data collected by Ipsos in 2021, about 66 per cent of Hungarians support same-sex marriage.

The country is divided when it comes to affording certain rights to LGBTQ+ people, however, with 40 per cent of respondents to the 2017-2020 World Values survey saying that same-sex couples shouldn’t be parents.

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