Hungarian law banning provision of LGBTQI+ content to minors

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Publication Date 2021
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Information Guide concerning a series of legislative amendments adopted in Hungary to ban the depiction or promotion of homosexuality to those under 18 years old in the country.

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Legislative proposal T/16365 was submitted to the Hungarian Parliament to amend several existing Acts, including the Child Protection Act, the Family Protection Act, the Act on Business Advertising Activity, the Media Act and the Public Education Act. It aimed at prohibiting the portrayal of homosexuality and sex reassignment in school education material and television programmes addressed to people under 18 years of age. The proposed amendments were adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 15 June 2021. The adoption was secured by the governing majority in the chamber, with the support of other right-wing political forces.

The amendments were seen by some groups as replicating similar Russian legislation. It was met with protests in Hungary and beyond. There was also wide international criticism towards the adoption of the proposed bills. The European Council addressed LGBTQI+ discrimination in the European Union (EU) at a meeting on 24-25 June. This discussion followed up a public statement issued by a wide group of EU Member States condemning the legislation and highlighting non-discrimination based on sexual orientation as part of fundamental values underpinning EU membership. Media outlets reported on a tense discussion between Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and other national leaders on the amendments.

This development added to the wider public debate concerning LGBTQI+ rights, in the framework of the Pride Month celebrated in June every year. It also influenced the narrative around the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship (EURO 2020) taking place in parallel, and which featured Hungary as one of the host countries. On an EU level, it added to the wider debate on enforcing respect for the rule of law in all Member States. The European Parliament adopted on 8 July 2021 a Resolution condemning the legislation adopted in Hungary.

On 15 July 2021, the European Commission decided to launch an infringement procedure against Hungary over this law. On 21 July, Mr Orbán announced a referendum seeking support from the electorate on this matter. Despite the hostile environment, the annual Budapest Pride march on 24 July to reaffirm calls for equality and the protection of fundamental rights.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Wikipedia: Hungarian anti-LGBT law
Amnesty International: News, 11/06/2021: Hungary: Proposed law a new frontal attack against LGBTI people
ILGA Europe: News, 15/06/2021: Europe’s leading LGBTI rights organisation calls on EU to act as Hungarian parliament adopts legislation censoring communication about LGBTI people
Euro|topics, June 2021: Homophobia: where is Hungary heading with its new law?
The Conversation (UK), 17/06/2021: Hungarian anti-LGBTQ+ law is a political tactic for Orbán
Balkan Insight: Review, 18/06/2021: Democracy Digest: Hungary Lacks Pride
Politico, 23/06/2021: It’s Hungary vs. Everyone after attacks on LGBTQ+ rights
RTÉ News, 24/06/2021: What's in Hungary's controversial anti-LGBT law?
EurActiv, 24/06/2021: Portrayal and promotion – Hungary’s LGBTQI+ law explained
EUObserver: Opinion, 24/06/2021: How NOT to frame debate about Hungary's toxic anti-gay law
New Statesman, 30/06/2021: As its democracy deteriorates further, never forget that Hungary and Viktor Orbán are not the same
Euro|topics, June 2021: Should Hungary remain in the EU?
openDemocracy: Opinion, 01/07/2021: Let’s talk less about UEFA – and more about Hungary’s new anti-LGBT law
GMFUS: Commentary, 01/07/2021: EU Leaders Shouldn't Rely Solely on the Commission to Act Against Hungary’s Anti-LGBT Law
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 06/07/2021: Three readings of one law: Reregulating sexuality in Hungary
LRT News, 08/07/2021: Is Lithuania hypocritical for criticising Hungary's anti-LGBT law?
The Conversation (UK), 26/07/2021: Could the European Union kick out Hungary?
Euro|topics, July 2021: Hungary: Orbán planning referendum on LGBT law
The Guardian: Editorial, 27/07/2021: The Guardian view on Viktor Orbán’s LGBT+ law: the same old playbook

Human Rights Watch: News, 11/06/2021: Hungary: Reject Bill Banning Discussion of LGBT Issues
Politico, 11/06/2021: Hungary LGBTQ community decries push to limit homosexuality displays
Euronews, 15/06/2021: Hungary votes on anti-LGBT bills amid protests
CNN News, 15/06/2021: Hungary's parliament passes anti-LGBT law ahead of 2022 election
The Guardian, 15/06/2021: Hungary passes law banning LGBT content in schools or kids’ TV
Deutsche Welle, 15/06/2021: Hungary approves law banning LGBTQ+ content for minors
Euronews, 15/06/2021: MPs in Hungary back ban on sharing content with children that promotes homosexuality, 15/06/2021: Hungary lawmakers adopt anti-paedophile law hijacked to be anti-LGBTQ legislation
France24, 16/06/2021: Lawmakers in Hungary pass anti-LGBT law ahead of 2022 election
Politico, 16/06/2021: Von der Leyen chides Hungary over bill to restrict LGBTQ depictions
Euronews, 17/06/2021: European Union to investigate Hungary over anti-LGBT law
Hungary Today, 18/06/2021: Orbán: New Law Banning ‘Promotion of Homosexuality’ Not Homophobic
Jurist, 18/06/2021: Hungarian parliament adopts bill banning LGBT content in schools
NL Times, 20/06/2021: Dutch companies condemn anti-LGBTQ law in Hungary; little action taken COC says
Politico, 22/06/2021: Dismay at UEFA decision to ban rainbow lights at Germany vs. Hungary game
BBC Sport, 22/06/2021: Euro 2020: Uefa declines request to light up Allianz Arena in rainbow colours
RFE/RL, 22/06/2021: EU Countries Condemn Hungary Over New LGBT Law, UEFA Rejects Munich Rainbow Stadium Request
Euronews, 23/06/2021: Sixteen EU countries denounce Hungary's new anti-LGBT law
Euronews, 23/06/2021: UEFA defends Munich rainbow ban, says LGBT flag is 'not political symbol'
BBC News, 23/06/2021: Hungary's anti-gay law threatens programming of TV favourites
Politico, 23/06/2021: ‘A shame’: Von der Leyen vows EU will fight Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ law
Reuters, 24/06/2021: Hungarian PM says he is gay rights fighter, defends new law
Politico, 24/06/2021: 17 EU leaders sign LGBTQ+ rights letter in response to Hungary anti-gay law
BBC News, 24/06/2021: Dutch PM Rutte: No place in EU for Hungary with anti-LGBT law, 25/06/2021: Rutte leads onslaught on Hungary’s ‘anti-European’ gay law
Associated Press, 25/06/2021: EU leaders defend LGBT rights amid concern over Hungary law
Associated Press, 02/07/2021: Hungary PM calls EU leaders ‘colonialists’ in LGBT law feud
Reuters, 02/07/2021: Dutch criticism of Hungary over LGBT rights reeks of 'colonial' past -Orban
France24, 07/07/2021: Hungary’s controversial anti-LGBT law goes into effect despite EU warnings
Reuters, 07/07/2021: Hungary rejects EU demand to ditch 'shameful' anti-LGBT law
Euronews, 07/07/2021: Hungary threatened with EU sanction over anti-LGBT law
RFE/RL, 07/07/2021: EU Threatens To Take Aim At Hungary As Controversial 'Anti-LGBT' Legislation Takes Effect
RFI News, 07/07/2021: EU bosses warn Hungary it could lose out on cash if it keeps anti-LGBT law
BBC News, 08/07/2021: EU votes for action over Hungary's anti-LGBT law
The Guardian, 08/07/2021: EU parliament condemns Hungary’s anti-LGBT law
Hungary Today: Press Roundup, 12/07/2021: EP Condemns Hungary’s Anti-LGBT Law
RFI News, 14/07/2021: EU to start legal action against Hungary's anti-LGBT law
Euronews, 21/07/2021: Hungary's Viktor Orban will hold referendum on anti-LGBT law
The Guardian, 21/07/2021: Hungary’s Viktor Orbán will hold referendum on anti-LGBT law
Politico, 21/07/2021: Orbán announces referendum on Hungarian anti-LGBTQ+ law
Deutsche Welle, 21/07/2021: Hungary PM Orban pledges referendum on LGBTQ law
Reuters, 21/07/2021: Orban referendum plan raises stakes in Hungary's LGBT row with EU
EUObserver, 23/07/2021: Open letter from 30 embassies ahead of Budapest Pride
France24, 24/07/2021: Thousands join Budapest Pride march to protest anti-LGBTQ education law in Hungary
VOA News, 24/07/2021: Thousands March in Hungary Pride Parade to Oppose LGBT Law
RFE/RL, 24/07/2021: Thousands Join Budapest Pride March To Protest LGBT Law
BBC News, 25/07/2021: Budapest Pride stands up for LGBT rights in Hungary

Hungarian Parliament: Javaslat módosítási szándék megfogalmazásához a Törvényalkotási bizottság számára a pedofil bűnelkövetőkkel szembeni szigorúbb fellépésről, valamint a gyermekek védelme érdekében egyes törvények módosításáról szóló T/16365. számú törvényjavaslathoz - Text of the proposed Legislative Amendments
Sophie Wilmès (Belgian Foreign Minister): Press Release, 22/06/2021: Eighteen countries unite at Belgium's initiative to defend LGBTIQ rights in Europe
About Hungary: News, 23/06/2021: Official government statement responding to the comments of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Hungary's child protection law
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Resolution on breaches of EU law and of the rights of LGBTIQ citizens in Hungary as a result of the legal changes adopted by the Hungarian Parliament (2021/2679(RSP))
European Parliament: Press Release, 08/07/2021: European Parliament vehemently opposed to Hungarian anti-LGBTIQ law
European Commission: Press Release, 15/07/2021: EU founding values: Commission starts legal action against Hungary and Poland for violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people

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