Hungarian government will introduce anti-LGBTI propaganda bill

A copy-paste of Russia’s anti-LGBTIQ+ propaganda law.

Fidesz, the Hungarian ruling party, has announced that they will introduce an anti-LGBTI propaganda bill. The bill prevents promoting LGBTI-equality in places where minors could be.

The bill contains an explicit prohibition to promote gender reassignment and homosexuality in school though sex-ed programmes. Such programmes will only be carried out with a special permission of the government. The bill also prohibits advertising the promotion of gender reassignment and homosexuality to persons under 18 years of age. It is explicitly says that no such “product” can be sold. It also says that “such media content” (e.g.: commercials on TV) can only be shown to persons over 18 years of age.

The entire bill can be found on this link (in Hungarian).

The bill and the framing is a copy-paste of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda bill, as introduced in 2013. The legislative initiative is framed within a wider bill that takes action against pedophilia. “By framing it within a bill for taking action against pedophilia, Fidesz makes it very difficult for LGBTI-activists to organise themselves against the bill.”, according to political scientist Rémy Bonny, who currently is the Executive Director of Forbidden Colours.

Politicians of Hungary’s ruling party have a long history of comparing LGBTI-people to pedophiles. In 2019, the Hungarian speaker of Parliament László Kövér said that there was “no moral difference” between pedophiles and adopting gay couples.

Copy-paste of Russia

According to Bonny, it is no surprise that Hungary copy-pastes Russia: “The democratic decline of the last ten years in Hungary was a literal copy-paste of what happened ten years ago in Russia. My own research revealed in 2019 that Hungary’s minister of homophobia, Katalin Novak, has close contacts with Russian oligarchs and intelligence officers of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS). Hungary is Russia’s autocratic trojan horse inside the European Union. They scapegoat LGBTI persons to dismantle democracy.”

The Hungarian government has also been criticized recently because they want to allow the Chinese government to build a new university, after they banned the Central European University years ago. Hungary also often vetoes sanctions by the European Council against China and Russia.

Bonny blames the European Commission and European Council for this. “The silence and unwillingness by the European institutions to take action against the crimes committed by the Hungarian government against LGBTI-people has enabled Hungary to continue its fight against human rights and democracy. The Commission and Council have put their commercial interest before the interest of their own citizens. The over 15 million LGBTI-citizens of the European Union are left on their own. A Europe without values is not worthy to be called a Union anymore.”, Bonny concludes.