Crime & Justice

Hungary to put controversial LGBT law to referendum amid EU battle

Budapest, Jul 21 (EFE).- A new law in Hungary banning LGBTQI content from schools will be put to a referendum to counter pressure from the European Union, which has branded the legislation as discriminatory.

The controversial law to remove LGBTQI topics from the classroom was pegged to a broader piece of legislation on child protection which included stronger penalties for peadophelia, a conflation that rights groups and several European countries say is offensive.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday called for the referendum in a Facebook video in which he said Brussels was abusing its powers in challenging Hungary’s amendments to education and child protection laws.

“The future of our children is at stake, we cannot cede ground in this issue,” he said.

The anti-LGBTQ law, that came into force this month, bans the display of content that promotes homosexuality and gender change in schools.

Brussels launched legal action against Hungary last week threatening it would escalate the dispute to the EU Court of Justice if Hungary does not respond within two months.

“In recent weeks, Brussels has clearly attacked Hungary over its child protection law. Hungarian laws do not permit sexual propaganda in kindergartens, schools, on television and in advertisement,” Orban said.

The prime minister did not specify when the referendum would take place nor whether the result would lead to an amendment, but said it would include five questions, to which he urged Hungarians to answer ‘no’ to.

The questions would include whether Hungarians support having sexual orientation workshops in schools without their consent or believe gender change should be promoted among children.

They would also include whether content that could affect children’s sexual orientation should be shown in schools without any restrictions or if gender change should be available for children.

The EU has not responded to Orban’s plan to hold a referendum. EFE


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