Hungary PM says ‘no money in the world’ would make him accept LGBTQ+ ‘propaganda’

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán has claimed that ‘no money in the world’ would make him accept LGBTQ+ “propaganda” after the EU froze funding to the country in 2022.

In 2021, Hungary passed a law banning discussion of LGBTQ+ people in schools and in the media, similar to Russia’s cruel “anti-propaganda” bill.

Since then, the EU has launched legal action against Hungary over the law, also freezing funding to the country in 2022 due to concerns over LGBTQ+ rights, the asylum system, academic freedoms and more, totalling 17 conditions for Hungary to meet before the money is granted. 

More than €10 billion (£8.5 billion) was released to Hungary in December, but around €20 billion (£17.1 billion) remains frozen.

On Wednesday (17 January), European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said those funds “will remain blocked until Hungary fulfils all the necessary conditions”, which includes changing LGBTQ+ policies.

Orbán, and the wider Hungarian government, has said that the policies will not be changed in the wake of the funding freeze, with the PM stating that no “money in the world” would change his mind on the LGBTQ+ community, The Washington Post reported. 

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“There is not enough money in the world to force us to let migrants in, and there is not enough money in the world for which we would put our children or grandchildren in the hands of LGBTQ+ activists,” the Hungarian prime minister said in a video posted to Twitter/X

Gergely Gulyas, Victor Orbán’s chief of staff, added that changing Hungary’s policies on LGBTQ+ rights and immigration would contradict the will of voters. 

“For Hungary, even despite the will of the European Commission, it is unacceptable to spread LGBTQ propaganda among children, and we also cannot abandon our position on migration issues,” Gulyas said.

The anti-LGBTQ+ law banning queer education and media has been decried by LGBTQ+ activists’ groups and governments ever since it was passed, with Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel, who is gay, slamming it as “shameful”

In its legal action, the European Commission explained the law “singles out and targets content that ‘promotes or portrays’ what it refers to as ‘divergence from self-identity corresponding to sex at birth, sex change or homosexuality’ for individuals under 18”.

Hungarian politicians have vowed to defend the anti-LGBTQ+ law, however, with justice minister Judit Varga writing in a Facebook post that she had filed a counterclaim against the European Commission.

“Hungary will not surrender,” she said, adding that “parents have the right to decide on the upbringing of their children.”

During Viktor Orbán’s tenure – he has been prime minister of Hungary since 2010, previously holding the office from 1998 to 2002 – the politician as also implemented other anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including effectively banning same-sex couples from adopting, and ending legal recognition for trans people. 

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