World Hungary's Fidesz moves against LGBT community with 2022 vote in sight
Hungary plans to ban 'promoting' homosexuality to under-18s
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s governing conservative party has prepared new legislation that bans showing pornographic material of any kind, or any content encouraging gender change or homosexuality to anyone under 18. The party describes the new legislation as part of an effort to protect children from pedophilia. But LGBT rights activists denounced the bills as discriminatory, with some comparing it to a 2013 Russian law banning gay “propaganda.” Human rights groups have described the Russian law as a tool of discrimination and harassment.
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary's ruling Fidesz party has proposed legislation that bans disseminating what it calls content promoting gender change or homosexuality in schools, a move which activists said resembled Russia's 2013 "gay propaganda" law.
Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government, which faces elections in early 2022 and promotes a strongly Christian-conservative agenda, has moved further against the LGBT+ community since last year. Poland's ruling PiS party, Fidesz's main European Union ally, has taken a similar stance for years.
Hungarian Official Says 'Pedophiles' Can't Hide as Country Passes Law Banning LGBT Content for Minors
A Hungarian official said "pedophiles" can't hide after the government finalized a law Tuesday banning LGBT content for children. Human rights group called the legislation anti-LGBT."The criminal code will be even more strict. Punishments will be more severe. No one can get away with atrocities with light punishments and parole," he said.
The latest amendment, submitted to parliament on Thursday by Fidesz lawmakers to a bill that punishes paedophilia, says youngsters under 18 cannot be shown pornographic content, or any content that encourages gender change or homosexuality. This also applies to advertisements, the bill says. It also proposes setting up a list of organisations allowed to hold sex education sessions in schools.
"The new legislation proposed by Fidesz would seriously curb freedom of speech and children's rights," the Hatter rights group said in a statement, likening the bill to Russia's gay propaganda law.
"This move endangers mental health of LGBTQI youngsters and prevents them getting access to information ... and affirmative support."
Hungary to ban LGBT content aimed at children
Critics say the legislation is similar to Russia's ban on "gay propaganda" targeting minors.The draft law would ban LGBT literature for under-18s, including educational material, and advertisements deemed to be promoting gay rights.
Hatter and six other rights groups called on Fidesz to withdraw the bill, which could go to vote next week.
In Russia, a 2013 law bans disseminating "propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations" among young Russians.
Gay marriage is not recognised in Hungary and only heterosexual couples can legally adopt children.
Orban's government, which stepped up anti-LGBT rhetoric as the coronavirus crisis hit the economy, has redefined marriage as the union between one man and one woman in the constitution, and limited gay adoption.
It also outlawed legal status for all transgender people, including those who had already made the switch - retroactive legislation that the constitutional court has deemed unconstitutional.
Last year a children's book, "Wonderland Is For Everyone", that aimed to help youngsters learn to accept minorities and fight social ostracism, caused a stir in Hungarian politics, with the government labelling it "homosexual propaganda" that should be banned from schools.
Orban has scored three successive landslides since 2010, but opposition parties have united against Fidesz for the first time and caught up with it in opinion polls.
On Thursday Orban flagged a hike in the minimum wage and reaffirmed plans for a big tax refund to families in 2022, setting the stage for his reelection campaign.
(Writing by Krisztina Than; Editing by Giles Elgood)
Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine .
Happy Friday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Ellen Mitchell, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.THE TOPLINE: The Biden administration is withdrawing "certain forces and capabilities," mostly air defense systems, from the Middle East, the Pentagon confirmed Friday."The secretary of Defense directed the commander of U.S. Central Command to remove from the region this summer certain forces and capabilities, primarily air defense assets," Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr. Jessica McNulty said in a statement.