Budapest, Jun 15 (EFE).- Hungarian lawmakers on Tuesday voted to ban the discussion of LGBTQ+ issues or gender change in schools in the latest clampdown by the prime minister, Viktor Orban, and his ultra-nationalist Fidesz party.
The new measures were pinned to a larger law that proposed tougher rules against pedophilia.
Critics, progressive opposition parties and non-state controlled media outlets described the insinuated equation between homosexuality and pedophilia as insulting and damaging.
With his eyes set on elections in 2022, Orban managed to split the opposition with his party’s proposal. Left-wing parties refused to participate while the right-wing Jobbik backed the plan. The motley alliance is to present a single candidate against Orban in the ballot next year.
Thousands of people protested outside the parliament building in Budapest ahead of voting, calling for MPs to block the “homophobic proposal.”
The new law would parts of the film adaptation of Harry Potter that discuss topics such as gender identity be given an age rating of 18.
Several NGOs warned last week that the new law was unprecedented in the European Union and that it would jeopardize the mental health of young LGBTQ+ people.
Organizations such as the Hatter Association in Hungary, Amnesty International, and Budapest Pride, drew comparisons between the measures and Russia’s 2013 law against “gay propaganda,” which led to an increase in homophobia in the country.
Since coming to power in 2010, Orban’s hyper-traditionalist government has overseen a series of laws stripping back the rights of the LGTBQ+ community and a number of Fidesz politicians have used homophobic slurs in speeches.
One of the founders of Fidesz, Laszlo Kover, compared gay couples who want to adopt children to pedophiles.