On Tuesday 15 June, the Hungarian parliament passed a law banning the dissemination of content deemed to promote homosexuality to under-18s. This includes banning LGBTQI people from being featured in any school material, advertisement, or TV programmes for minors. RFSL is seriously concerned about the expected effects of the legislation and urges the EU to take strong action.
The new legislation, which has already been widely criticised by both Hungarian opposition and international human rights groups, specifically targets the country’s youth. In short, sharing any information with under-18s that the government considers to be promoting homosexuality or gender affirming health care is now prohibited.
Additionally, an official register over organisations and individuals allowed to carry out sex education in schools will be established. This provision specifically target LGBTQI organisations, which will not be accepted onto the list.
“This legislation could have devastating effects on the country’s youth. It violates their right to access to information as well as their right to education. And at the same time it is a clear attack on LGBTQI people’s freedom of expression,” said Deidre Palacios, President of RFSL.
Since the beginning of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the ruling Fidesz party has stepped up its attacks against the country’s LGBTQI community, passing one homophobc law after the other. Among them is a bill that outlaws legal gender recognition as well as one that makes it impossible for same-sex couples to adopt children.
RFSL is seriously concerned about the recent developments in Hungary. As an EU country, Hungary has committed to protect fundamental rights and ensure equal treatment and equality for all, as according to the EU Equality Strategy 2020-2025. Member states agree to actively work against discrimination of LGBTQI people.
“If the EU really strives to be at the forefront of efforts to ensure that LGBTQI people’s rights are protected, decisiveness and unity is needed. We urge each and every EU member state to call on Hungary to repeal or amend its homophobic and transphobic legistlation and respect the rights of LGBTQI people. Sweden should take on a leading role in these efforts,” said Deidre Palacios.