Hungarian lawmakers pass law barring LGBT content in schools

Photo: AP Hungarian PM Viktor Orban delivers a speech at the House of Parliament in Budapest, 23 March 2020.

Hungarian lawmakers passed legislation Tuesday that prohibits sharing with minors any content that portrays or promotes homosexuality or sex reassignment. to anyone under 18.

The National Assembly passed the bill on a 157-1 vote. The ruling Fidesz party has a parliamentary majority, and lawmakers from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure.

All other opposition parties boycotted the voting session to protest discrimination against LGBT people.

The legislation, presented last week by Fidesz, is primarily aimed at fighting pedophilia but also includes amendments that ban the representation of any sexual orientation besides heterosexual and sex reassignment information in school sex education programs, as well as in films and advertisements aimed at anyone under 18.

LGBT activists in Hungary and international organizations sharply criticized the bill and compared it to a 2013 Russian law banning so-called gay “propaganda”. LGBT and human rights activists held protests to try to pressure lawmakers into defeating the bill.

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