August 3, 2021

Hungary bans “showing homosexuality” to minors

In Hungary, it is no longer possible to put up advertisements showing two men or two women kissing, or even probably to show films like Bridget Jones Diary or Billy Elliot before 10 p.m. on television. Tuesday, June 15, the Hungarian Parliament has in fact adopted a bill to ban “Making available to children under the age of 18 content which shows or encourages sexuality in itself, gender change or homosexuality”. As soon as it is promulgated by the President, this law will apply in the media, publishing or advertising.

These provisions were introduced at the last minute by members of Fidesz, Viktor Orban’s party, in a text aimed in theory at strengthening the fight against pedophilia. The nationalist prime minister has stepped up reforms in recent months aimed at reducing LGBT rights in this central European country of 9.7 million inhabitants. In December 2020, for example, he amended the Constitution to include the prohibition on adoption for same-sex couples. “The objective of this law is the protection of children under the age of 18”, assured only the elected officials of Mr. Orban’s party, barely mentioning these disputed amendments during the debate in session, boycotted by much of the opposition.

Increasingly fierce attacks

“This law is copied from the Russian model”, denounces Tamas Dombos, one of the leaders of the NGO for the defense of LGBT rights Hatter, which took part in a demonstration bringing together several thousand people in front of the doors of the Parliament in Budapest, Monday evening. In Russia, the law on the prohibition of “homosexual propaganda among minors”, adopted in 2013, resulted, de facto, in discriminating against sexual minorities. “For example, it will be prohibited to sell books to minors which simply mention LGBT characters”, protest M. Dombos.

Demonstration in defense of LGBT rights in front of the Hungarian Parliament, in Budapest, on June 14, 2021.

The private television channel RTL Klub assured on its Facebook page that it could no longer broadcast films like Bridget Jones Diary, Billy Elliot or “Even parts of the film adaptations of Harry Potter » before 10 p.m. “Diversity and tolerance are important European values. This bill seriously violates freedom of expression and the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights relating to non-discrimination ”, denounces the channel, which is the last major television channel still independent in Hungary.

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