Hungarian parliament approves anti-LGBTQ+ referendum

The anti-LGBTQ+ referendum looks to restrict and remove so-called ‘LGBT+ propaganda’ from Hungarian schools, based on public opinion.

A photo of the Hungarian parliament building decorated with the Hungary flag where an anti-LGBTQ+ referendum was approved.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Hungarian parliament has passed a resolution that will allow the government to hold an anti-LGBTQ+ referendum next year. The move comes as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gears up for a difficult 2022 election race, where he will hope to win the support of conservative voters with his campaign.

Orbán proposed the referendum earlier in 2021, with its aim being to limit how schools teach homosexuality and Transgender issues. It is expected that Hungarians will be presented with the following questions, which parliament voted on and passed one by one:

  1. Whether or not they support sexual orientation workshops being held in schools without the consent of parents;
  2. Whether or not they think gender reassignment procedure should be taught to children;
  3. Whether or not media content that could impact sexual orientation should be shown to children unrestricted

Deputy Minister Balázs Orbán said: “The Hungarian government proposes that citizens should have a chance to express their stance on the issues of gender propaganda.”

“We believe that we […] have to say no to LGBT+ propaganda in schools carried out with the help of NGOs and media, without parental consent.”

The Deputy Minister also suggested that the referendum be held on the same day as the parliamentary vote, which is expected in April 2022.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has comfortably held his post since 2010, with the 2022 election set to be his first real competitive race. He has used his anti-LGBTQ+ views to gain the support of right-wing Hungarian voters, and this referendum is another blow to the country’s queer community under his ruling.

Earlier this year, on June 15, lawmakers passed legislation banning “content promoting gender change or homosexuality” within schools. It was passed by 157 votes to one, despite human rights officials and activists labelling the bill as “an affront against the rights and identities of LGBTI persons.”

LGBTQ+ people and allies in the country have protested these legislations, but to no avail.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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