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Hungary's anti-LGBTQ Prime Minister to focus on gay rights ahead of 2022 election

Viktor Orbán has painted himself as the defender of traditional values and opposes what he calls the "LGBT ideology".

2021-12-22

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki

Hungary's anti-LGBTQ Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, says he's going to pursue a referendum on LGBTQ rights in the run-up to the country's election next year.

Painting himself as a defender of traditional Hungarian values and against what he calls the "LGBT ideology," Orbán is expected to focus on a raft of anti-LGBTQ measures in the hopes of rallying his core conservative support base.

Earlier this year, he and his ruling Fidesz party effectively banned the promotion of LGBTQ content to under-18s, much like Margaret Thatcher's Section 28 legislation. 

"We will not change it and will not let anyone in"

Reuters reports that Orbán confirmed his intention to focus on LGBTQ issues on Tuesday (21 December) while also confirming that he will not be changing controversial immigration laws despite EU courts ruling Hungary had broken EU law by rejecting asylum seekers. 

In a press conference, Orbán said: "We will not change it and will not let anyone in." The two issues, he added, will dominate his campaign ahead of next year's elections.

The referendum on LGBTQ rights follows the introduction of the aforementioned law that was passed in June. Last week, the EU's Venice Commission, a group of independent experts on constitutional law, found that the law violates international human rights standards

The law bans content that "propagates or portrays divergence from self-identity corresponding to sex at birth, sex change or homosexuality" for those under 18, and was introduced as amendments to a law on paedophilia.

The Commission said that it was "degrading, stigmatizing and discriminatory" to do so as it made it look like "sexual orientation and gender identity are associated with the violation of children’s rights".

As per Reuters, the referendum will ask people if they support workshops focusing on LGBTQ issues being held in schools. It's expected to take place on the same day as the elections in April. 

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