July 29, 2021

The Pulse

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Hungary bans “promoting homosexuality” for minors

The ban on “promoting homosexuality” was passed despite protests and opposition boycotts. Photo: Szilard Koszticsak / MTI / AP / NTB

Hungary’s elected officials have passed a ban on “promoting homosexuality” among minors. The ban includes movies, advertising and school supplies.

The proposal was adopted by a 157-vote majority in the National Assembly on Tuesday, controlled by Prime Minister Victor Orban’s right-wing populist party Fidesz. Jobik, a far-right party, backed the plan.

Most opposition parties boycotted the vote on Tuesday to oppose discrimination against LGBT people – lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people.

On Monday night, more than 5,000 people gathered in a protest outside the National Assembly. LGBT and human rights activists have demonstrated to put pressure on elected representatives in the hope that the bill will be voted on.

Homosexuality should not be encouraged

The plan was presented by Fitzgerald last week. Its main goal is to combat pedophilia. But there are also changes that prevent schools from showing biases other than gender in sex education. This also applies to movies and commercials that target people under the age of 18.

– To ensure that the rights of children are protected, the legal text states that pornography and pornography for its own benefit or content that shows deviations from gender identity, sex correction and homosexuality are not available to persons under 18 years of age.

It added that sex education “should not be aimed at promoting gender segregation, gender correction or homosexuality.”

– Restricts freedom of expression

Critics say the new law is a “sharp reduction” in freedom of expression and children’s rights. In practice, it bans training programs and promotional materials from LGBT groups.

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LGBT activists in Hungary and international organizations have strongly criticized the bill, comparing it to Russian law since 2013 banning the “campaign” of homosexuality.

Books with dramatic representations of homosexuals and advertising by companies such as Coca-Cola – which promoted the acceptance of homosexuals in Hungary in 2019 – may be banned.

TV channel RDL Club Hungary says popular films such as “Bridget Jones’ Diary”, “Harry Potter” and “Billy Elliott” should now air late at night and up to the age of 18.

Photo: ARKIVFOTO / SAKCHAI LALIT / AP / NTB