Hungary announces referendum on child protection issues

A referendum on child protection will be held in Hungary in response to the European Commission’s demand for a review of the Hungarian law on LGBT propaganda in schools. This was announced by the country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday, July 21.

“In recent weeks, Brussels has clearly attacked Hungary over its child protection law. Hungarian law does not allow the promotion of sexual relations in kindergartens, schools, on television and in advertisements. When there is so much pressure on our country, only a common will can protect Hungary, so the government has decided to initiate a referendum,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook by the Hungarian prime minister.

During the referendum, citizens will have to decide whether they support sexual orientation presentations in educational institutions without parental approval, the promotion of sex reassignment surgery and access to such services for minors, as well as the presentation of sex reassignment and other content in the media that may affect child development.

According to Orban, only “the common will of the people” can protect the country in this situation.

The day before, in an interview with Funke Media Group, the deputy speaker of the European Parliament, Katharina Barley, demanded that EU funds for Hungary and Poland be frozen.

She noted that the measures should affect primarily the government of these countries, but not the population. In particular, the EP deputy chairman emphasized the Hungarian prime minister, expressing confidence that he and the Hungarian Cabinet had made such radical changes that there was no point in talking about “democratic conditions” in the country.

On June 15, the Hungarian National Assembly passed a law banning the promotion of homosexuality among children under 18. According to The Guardian, Orban’s ruling party, which constitutes the parliamentary majority, drew attention to the fact that such information can have a negative impact on the development of children, as well as interfere with the formation of their moral principles.

Later, the leaders of 17 of the 27 EU countries signed a document calling on Hungary to repeal the law and respect human rights. Reuters noted that the letter was signed in particular by French leader Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.