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Protests in Hungary against a controversial anti-LGBT law

Protests in Hungary against a controversial anti-LGBT law


The heart of tolerance in front of Parliament is dominated by Orbán’s right wing
© APA / AFP

In Hungary, several activists protested the law on restricting information on gays and transgender people, which went into effect on Thursday. “We will not change any of our LGBT education programs or any of our campaigns because of the anti-LGBT law,” David Vig, head of Amnesty International Hungary, said in Budapest. As a sign of protest, he stood in front of a ten-meter-high, rainbow-colored heart in the capital.

Luka Duditz, a board member of the right-wing gay, bisexual and transgender group Hatter Society, accused Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of withdrawing citizens’ rights while portraying himself as a “freedom fighter” abroad. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activist Dorothea Reade, who lectures on homophobia and bullying in schools, was also concerned: “Teachers will now be afraid to invite us to their schools,” she said. LGBT+ is an English borrowed acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Other Sexual Minorities.

The controversial law prohibits, among other things, educational programs or advertisements by large companies that show solidarity with LGBT people. There should also not be any educational books on the subject. The right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Orban’s Fidesz party abides by the law despite harsh criticism, including from the European Union.

Hungarian radio station RTL Club covered its posters for a popular TV series with a picture of a gay couple as a protest on Thursday. “We are concerned that the law seriously infringes on freedom of expression and discriminates against non-heterosexual members of the community,” reads the poster.

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The law imposed by the Hungarian government has also been criticized abroad. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has threatened legal action, and EU lawmakers on Wednesday called for funds to be cut in Budapest. For its part, the Hungarian government accused Brussels of an “unprecedented campaign”. According to her, the law is only intended to “return” to parents the choice of how to raise their children.