Orbán in bid to extend mandate, Hungarians to vote on controversial LGBT law

Budapest, Apr 2 (EFE).- Hungarians are set to head to the polls on Sunday to cast their votes in a general election but they will also have their say in a referendum on a controversial law that critics say links homosexuality with pedophilia.

The right-wing Fidesz party of prime minister Viktor Orban, who is vying to extend his mandate in Sunday’s vote, initially framed the legislation proposal as a means to protect minors from abuse but added last-minute clauses that would ban educative content on LGBT matters from being shared with anyone under 18, including in schools and in the media.

The referendum on the law contains four questions that European officials have branded ambiguous.

They are: Do you support the teaching of sexual orientation to minors in public education institutions without parental consent? Do you support the promotion of sex reassignment therapy for underage children? Do you support the unrestricted exposure of underage children to sexually explicit media content that may affect their development? Do you support the showing of sex-change media content to minors?

When it comes to the parliamentary elections, Orban’s 12-year rule looks to be hanging by a thread, not least due to its party’s attitude toward LGBT rights.

The Fidesz party has taken on policies similar to those in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Luca Dudits, from Háttér, the largest LGBT+ organization in Hungary, told Efe.

“Orbán had statements identical to some of Putin’s,” Dudits said. “Like when he assured that Hungary is tolerant towards minorities, but that there are red lines that they cannot cross either.”

“This is not a coincidence,” Dudits added.

Háttér and Amnesty International have launched a campaign calling on Hungarians to nullify their votes. Twelve NGOs have joined the campaign.

Within this initiative, posters, photos and videos have been published — and viewed more than a million times — in which families and LGBT+ people talk about how the law affects them.

“I mean, all this is not only about the LGBT+ community, but it affects everyone,” Dudits said. EFE


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