Hungarian government sends Roderic O'Gorman letter defending their anti-LGBTQ+ laws

Several EU Ministers were also contacted following their criticism of Hungary's recently introduced homophobic laws.

An inflatable rainbow coloured balloon outside an Eastern European building

Following criticism from the Irish government and other EU member states over their recent introduction of anti-LGBTQ+ laws, the Hungarian government has sent a letter to Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman, as well as other EU Ministers, defending their decision.

Earlier in June, the ruling FIDESZ party introduced new legislation banning the “portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality” for persons under 18.

The announcement was met with widespread backlash from other EU member states, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stating they would assess whether it was in breach of EU laws.

On June 23, Minister O’Gorman released a statement saying that the legislation was a “clear attempt to target and erase visibility and self-expression” and that it was “homophobia dressed up as a child protection measure.”

Last week, the European parliament voted that the legislation went against their principles of equality. In response, Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán stated, “The European Parliament and European Commission want LGBTQ activists to be admitted to schools and kindergartens, we don’t want that.”

The Hungarian government Justice Minister Judit Varga was directed to send a letter in response stating “Hungary is a free, sovereign country, which insists on its rights guaranteed in the EU Treaties; therefore, neither the Commission nor any other European body can dictate how Hungarian parents raise their children.”

The letter continued, “In Hungary, we deem it particularly important to protect our family values and culture. Parents must be able to decide how to raise their children, and no one should be forced or compelled to endure their children receiving sexually explicit content without their clear consent.”

Speaking about the letter, a spokesperson for the Department of Children shared, “The Minister (O’Gorman) has previously stated his view that the laws passed in Hungary are a clear attempt to target and erase visibility and self-expression of LGBTI people in Hungarian society.”

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