Campaigners call for EU action against Hungary’s latest anti-LGBTQI+ law

protestors lgbt law hungary
Support us and go ad-free

Campaigners are calling for the EU to take action against Hungary after its parliament passed another anti-LGBTQI+ law. On 15 June, Hungary voted through a law that bans showing schoolchildren LGBTQI+ material or featuring gay people in TV shows for under-18s.

The Fidesz ruling party and far-right Jobbik party voted the law through 157-1, despite warnings from human rights campaigners across Europe. The law also stops anyone not on an official register from carrying out school sex education classes. So a campaign group’s petition is calling on:

the European Union to step up immediately and use all tools available to force the Hungarian government to retract the law.

“Solidarity alone will not be enough”

Under Viktor Orbán, Hungary has passed several laws targeting LGBTQI+ rights. In May last year, the government ended legal recognition of gender change. It also decided to amend the constitution to prevent gay couples from adopting.

More than 10,000 people demonstrated outside the Hungarian parliament on the day the law was passed. Campaigners are now calling for the EU to take action to make Hungary retract the law.

David Vig, director of Amnesty International Hungary, said on 15 June:

This is a dark day for LGBTI rights and for Hungary. Like the infamous Russian ”propaganda law” this new legislation will further stigmatise LGBTI people and their allies. It will expose people already facing a hostile environment to even greater discrimination.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

He added:

But solidarity alone will not be enough.

The EU and its member states must take urgent steps by raising this issue at the next General Affairs Meeting in the Council and ensuring that the EU is a safe place for LGBTI people. 

Children at risk of “discrimination and violence”

Global LGBTQI+ rights campaign group All Out has launched a petition calling on the EU use “all tools available” to get Hungary to retract the law. More than 21,000 people have signed the petition.

All Out’s campaign states:

The Hungarian government claims the legislation aims to “protect children,” but the opposite is true. By fanning the flames of homophobia and transphobia, LGBT+ children and families are put at further risk of discrimination and violence. …

As a member of the European Union Hungary has committed itself to respect the human rights of its citizens. In passing this legislation it has clearly violated this commitment and must face harsh consequences.

ILGA Europe, which advocates for LGBTQI+ rights across Europe, is working with Hungarian activists to advocate to the EU to impose sanctions on Hungary.

However, economic sanctions have been found in the past to often have negative impacts on human rights and often adversely affect the poorest in countries.

Rising homophobia in Europe

ILGA Europe’s ranking of LGBTQI+ rights in Europe, published in May, found that progress has come to a “standstill” over the past year. Poland is the lowest ranked EU country, but Hungary’s score for legal and policy practices decreased massively from 2019 to 2020.

As thousands of people marched for Warsaw pride over the weekend, Polish people expressed fears about losing further rights for LGBTQI+ people after the news from Hungary. For example, the Catholic church and governing party leader are currently backing a bill to attempt to ban pride parades in Poland.

One prominent activist marched with a Hungarian flag in solidarity.

As Orbán prepares for the general election in 2022, his party has been accused of following the ‘ramping up’ of anti-LGBTQI+ policies like their Polish allies.

Featured image via YouTube/FRANCE 24 English

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us