Hungary’s president vetoes cruel bill letting people ‘report’ same-sex parents to authorities

The President of Hungary, Katalin Novak,

Hungary’s president Katalin Novak has refused to accept an inhumane bill that would allow its citizens to anonymously report same-sex families with children to authorities. 

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

As it stands, 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”.

President Novak sent the bill back to parliament and stated in a letter on Friday (21 April), that it “cites the protection of constitutional values to introduce vaguely-worded directives whose practical applicability and legal consequences are doubtful,” BNN Bloomberg reported.

Suggesting that the proposed bill weakens – rather than strengthens – constitutional protections, Novak explained that she felt it also contained passages that are irrelevant to the original purpose of “facilitating the reporting of corruption in line with European Union law”. 

Lawmakers could override Novak’s veto, however, this is thought to be unlikely. Novak was the presidential nominee of conservative prime minister Viktor Orbán, and is a member of his right-wing populist leadership.

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Hungary defend anti-LGBTQ+ law

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

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

Novak’s stand against the anti-LGBTQ+ bill follows Hungary’s justice minister, Judit Varga, announcing that the country would fight the Court of Justice of the European Union to defend its controversial anti-LGBTQ+ law.

The country’s Child Protection Act, which was passed with just one dissenting vote in June 2021, bans the discussion of LGBTQ+ people and themes in schools and in the media.

The European Commission launched legal action by referring Hungary to the court in July 2022, saying the law “discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity”, but in March, Varga posted to Facebook, stating that “Hungary will not surrender”. 

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