The Hungarian anti-paedophile law, or as it became more well-known throughout the media, the “homophobic law” has triggered a giant uproar back in early June and July. It has triggered a complicated series of events.
Despite the demonstrations and objections of non-governmental organisations, the law has been amended and was passed in the Parliament. Some of the effects of the law, however, only take effect starting from Sunday, 5th of September, says HírTV.
According to Index, that law consists of two main parts. The first being the original Kocsis-Selmeczi anti-paedophile law proposal, the other being the amended part which is considered to be anti-LGBTQ.
The anti-paedophile measures include stricter punishment on child pornography and related crimes, the establishing of a register of known paedophiles and the prohibition of certain professions for paedophiles.
The other measures basically prohibit the self-serving portrayal of sexuality, promotion of gender change for people under 18 years old, the sexual education sessions which promote or popularise the latter for people under 18 years old.
Additionally, only registered people and organisations can hold sex education sessions.
Advertising that contains a self-serving portrayal of sexuality, the promotion of homosexuality or gender change is not permitted for people under 18 years old, and media programmes that fit into the description have to be issued the “not recommended for people under 18” title.
Index highlights that this is not everything because these measures also determine the selling of certain books and how bookshops can sell them. According to the Association of Hungarian Publishers and Distributors, the law is absurd and here is why:
According to the new law, deviations from the identity corresponding to the sex of birth, gender reassignment, a self-serving portrayal of sexuality, and the display or promotion of homosexuality for children are prohibited from being placed in store windows or to be put on public display.
Such products aimed at kids can only be marketed separately from other products and can only be sold in sealed packaging.
Additionally, these kinds of products cannot be distributed or sold within a distance of 200 metres of the entrance of any educational or child and youth protection institutions, churches or other places of religious practice.
In response to the above-written limitations, Katalin Gál, chairman of the Association of Hungarian Publishers and Distributors, commented the following:
“The legislation is absurd, and strictly speaking, even the Bible should then be sold covered up, as there are plenty of sections that display sexuality, or even homosexuality”.
The association also protested back in June, saying that it is not entirely clear what promoting homosexuality or the self-serving portrayal of sexuality means, as it could affect literary cornerstones.
Háttér Society, the largest operating LGBTQI organisation in Hungary and has clearly taken a standpoint against the law.
The NGO said that the regulation “stigmatises LGBTQI people, deprives LGBTQI youth of vital information, illegally restricts freedom of speech and the right to education”, and they will fight the new law by all available legal means.