The recent introduction of a law passed in Hungary banning LGBTQIA+ representations faces heavy criticism from the EU. This law was introduced as part of the Children Protection Act, which sought to fight against paedophilia and create a safer environment for children. Lawmakers in Hungary allegedly co-opted this bill in a move against LGBTQIA+ media, reports Euronews.
The ban has sparked outrage and received the attention of the European Commission. President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament, “This law is shameful. It goes utterly against the fundamental values of the European Union – the protection of minorities, human dignity, equality and respect for human rights.”
The European Commission tweeted on Thursday, July 15 that they plan to take legal action saying, “Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised. We start legal action against Hungary and Poland for violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people.”
According to The Guardian, Hungary’s new laws are ostensibly aiming at maintaining so-called “traditional values”, but political analysts note that prime minister Viktor Orbán is purportedly appealing to the conservative Christian voter base ahead of elections.
The bans have been defended by members of Orbán’s parliament, including the Minister of Justice Judit Varga who claims the European Commission is strong-arming the Hungarian government. Varga tweeted saying, “they want to force us to let sexual propaganda spread among our children.”
“We did not want this conflict at all. We are simply self-identical, consistent and telling the truth because we stand for a good cause: we protect children’s and parents’ rights. The Union can’t tell how Hungarian parents should raise their children in Hungary,” continued Varga in her Twitter thread.
The Hungarian laws on LGBTQIA+ media bans have been compared to the Russian laws that ban gay propaganda. Hungary’s laws go even further reports The Guardian, as the restrictions take a firmer stance against LGBTQIA+ fundamental rights.
The Euronews report mentioned that civil society organisations have accused the Children Protection Act of perpetuating a damaging stereotype that conflates paedophilia with homosexuality. A total of 16 member states of the European Union have also condemned the stigmatisation that’s caused by the introduction of the laws.
This ban will cause real consequences for the LGBTQIA+ community in Hungary, furthering the stigmatisation many face and encourage discrimination.