Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has claimed that his cruel law banning the “promotion” of LGBT+ lives to minors is “not about homosexuality”.
In June, Orbán and his ruling party passed legislation restricting the portrayal of LGBT+ people on media, school materials and advertisements aimed at minors. It was quickly compared to Russia’s “gay propaganda bill” and Britain’s Section 28.
But faced with backlash from EU leaders, Orbán simply sidestepped their concerns with an astonishing claim at a European Council summit last week.
“It’s not about homosexuality,” he said, according to the Independent.
“It’s about the kids and the parents.
“I am defending the rights of homosexual guys but this law is not about them.”
Hungary’s oldest LGBT+ campaign group Háttér Society called his words blatant “lies”.
Despite Orbán telling EU officials that there is “no law about homosexuality”, the bill in question references homosexuality six times, the group said.
“The truth is that the law passed two weeks ago makes explicit references to homosexuality… in the context of declaring that it is ‘prohibited to make available to children under the age of 18 any (…) content [which] promotes or portrays deviation from the self-identity in line with the birth sex, gender reassignment, and homosexuality’.”
Háttér Society debunked Orbán’s claims that he “protects” the rights of “gay guys”, in particular, noting that his voting record says it all.
Orbán has voted against anti-discrimination laws and same-sex adoption rights, and in favour of abolishing the Equal Treatment Authority, the nation’s equality watchdog.
The group also pointed to a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights which found that 95 per cent of LGBT+ Hungarians feel the government has not tackled anti-LGBT+ hate.
As EU officials consider choking Hungary’s funding as one way to squash the law, 17 of the bloc’s leaders have signed an open letter pledging to “continue fighting against discrimination towards the LGBTI community”.
“Respect and tolerance,” the letter stated, “are at the core of the European project.”