The new Hungarian law that bans the “portrayal and promotion” of homosexuality and trans identity in schools, media content and adverts aimed at under-18s does not violate “any lofty ideals or European law”, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán said on Thursday (17 June), adding that “the liberal steamrollers are once again at work against Hungary.”
The law, which had drawn much criticism from Brussels and Western European capitals, “simply states clearly that only parents can decide on the sexual education of their children,” Orbán wrote in a statement.
The Hungarian premier defended the law, which simultaneously toughens penalties for paedophillia offences, saying it only prohibits sexual education that would “portray or promote” the LGBTQI+ identity, without banning heterosexual educational material in school.
“Parents also rightly expect that on platforms used by our children, pornography, sexuality for its own sake, homosexuality and gender reassignment programmes should not be available,” he said.
However, according to the Hungarian leader, no one in the country ”has a say in how adults live their lives. In our view, a free adult should not have to give an account of his life in front of any secular authority — only before God when the time comes.”
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen expressed her concern over the law on Thursday, two days after the adoption of the bill that critics fear will erase the LGBTQI+ community from public life.
“I believe in a Europe which embraces diversity, not one which hides it from our children,” she wrote on Twitter, adding that the EU executive is looking into whether the law breaches relevant bloc legislation.
“No one should be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation,” she added. (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com with Telex)