Last week the Hungarian government implemented a change in the recent anti-paedophile law. The change has caused a great deal of public unrest with a demonstration held on Monday in front of the Hungarian Parliament. Since that, the topic has shifted the spotlight to Hungary worldwide, with many people making a stand against the law.
The whole thing started a little over two weeks ago when two Fidesz members have submitted a bill that would tighten the penalty for sexual crimes against children and make a list of perpetrators to help defend the younger generation. You can read about the original submission in more detail in THIS article.
Then, last week the Fidesz have amended the anti-paedophile law, or, more precisely, a set of laws that aims towards the protection of children from sexual attacks, paedophilia and would implement stricter punishment if the perpetrator was an official and also forbids perpetrators to work with underaged people.
However, one of the amendments that caused the issue was that under the new proposal, the promotion and presentation of homosexuality or gender reassignment would be prohibited for those under 18 years of age.
Many NGOs said that it was a frontal attack on freedom of expression and children’s rights.
Telex also said earlier that Hungary aims to copy the Russian homophobic package, and with the new amendment, Fidesz is confusing sexual crimes with gender identity issues. You can read more about all the problematic amendments in THIS article, and more details are available for the other laws the package includes HERE.
A demonstration was organised by Amnesty International Hungary, Budapest Pride, Háttér Society, the Hungarian Helsinki Society, and more, and was held starting from 6 p.m. on Monday. Thousands of people have attended the demonstration, and there is a petition against the new amendment that is at over 117,000 signatures at the time of writing this article.
On the last day of the Hungarian Parliament’s Spring session on Tuesday, however, the representatives have voted to accept the package of laws, triggering an even greater echo among the people. For example, TV channel RTL Klub Hungary said that the decision results in the reconsideration of many movies in terms of the age-based rating system. You can read more about them HERE.
András Schiffer, a lawyer and former politician, said on his Facebook that
“The bit propagandistic and homophobic proposal to ban “the promotion of homosexuality” […] is part of a completely planned-out operation.”
Hvg reported, that the following could be read in Háttér Society’s statement:
“Despite thousands protesting and having a petition signed by more than 100,000 people, the Parliament does not care about the opinion of Hungarians.”
Luca Dudits, the communications officer of Háttér Society, also added that “even though the government is trying to make an enemy out of the LGBTQI people, the last few days have shown that Hungarians do not want hatred. In the next period,
we will focus on challenging the illegal and inhumane law at home and abroad by all available legal means”.
The amendment and the protest also drew the attention of the international scene, and Reuters has reported the following:
“Hardline nationalist Orbán has grown increasingly radical in his social policy, railing against immigrants and LGBT people in his self-styled illiberal regime, which has deeply divided the central European nation”.
In their article, Human Rights Watch commented that “this brazen demonization of a marginalized group should be illegal in a European Union member state. The law erodes core EU values of non-discrimination and tolerance guaranteed in EU treaties.
Hungary’s President, János Áder, should veto the bill and send it back to parliament for review”.
Even a Norwegian news site, Nettavisen, has published an article about the events that took place in the past couple of days concerning the anti-paedophile package of laws.