Hungary to hold referendum in effort to show public support for anti-LGBTQ+ laws

The Hungarian Government are flying the face of both EU condemnation and an open letter of support for LGBTQ+ people signed by 30 embassies worldwide.

A group of people holding the rainbow flag

The government of Hungary is to hold a referendum in an attempt to prove a majority of the population agree with their introduction of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation following a backlash from the EU.

The law in question, officially called the Children Protection Act, is clearly an attack on the LGBTQ+ community, containing, amongst other things, a ban on same-sex couples adopting, rules against gender recognition for trans people, and blocking schools from sharing information on the LGBTQ+ community.

Backlash over its introduction was immediate, with the EU recently announcing it had launched legal action against the country. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán furiously defended his government’s actions, calling the EU’s actions “legalised hooliganism“.

Now, Orbán has announced via a video posted on Facebook that Hungary is to hold a referendum, with the aim to prove the public stands behind the government’s actions. In the video, Orbán said, “Brussels has clearly attacked Hungary in recent weeks due to its Child Protection Law. When the pressure against our homeland is so strong, only the common will of the people can defend Hungary.”

The referendum will consist of five questions covering things such as whether LGBTQ+ issues, or gender reassignment should be discussed in schools. While the referendum supposedly puts the decision in the public’s hands, the language used is misleading. One of the questions is quoted as being “Do you support minors being shown, without any restriction, media content of a sexual nature that is capable of influencing their development?”

The government are asking the public to vote ‘no’ on each of the five questions.

In a further example of how leading the language used is, Orbán also said during his Facebook video – “LGBTQ activists visit kindergartens and schools and conduct sexual education classes. They want to do this here in Hungary as well.”

In related news, Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh, herself a member of the LGBTQ+ community, is to travel to Hungary to take part in Budapest Pride. While there, Walsh will also take part in a panel discussion on LGBTQ+ rights in the EU.

Walsh shared, “The importance of putting in place legal and financial deterrents for countries like Hungary and Poland who continue to actively undermine the fundamental values of our EU is essential. We need to make a clear statement that everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, skin colour and creed are welcomed in the European Union.”

Walsh continued, “After the most recent state-sponsored LGBTIQ-phobia and disinformation campaigns by the Hungarian government, 18 (EU) Member States signed a statement, including Ireland, calling for the Commission to investigate the illegal acts against our LGBTI+ communities. Finally a very clear sign that enough is enough. We cannot let this hate speech and anti-minority narrative continue.”

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