The Hungarian Parliament passed legislation Tuesday that bans sharing content with minors that portrays LGBTQ+ people. The new law is the latest example of Prime Minister Victor Orbán’s and his government’s continued attack on LGBTQ+ rights in the country.
MPs voted 157-1 in favor of the legislation. Ruling party Fidesz and the far-right party Jobbik held a majority while other opposition parties boycotted the vote.
Those found in violation of the new law could find themselves facing fines, according to Human Rights Watch.
The law originally sought to reinforce protections against pedophilia and sexual violence against children. It comes after several Fidesz party members have been part of child abuse cases, according to Deutsche Welle.
Party members added last-minute changes that would go toward stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people.
The U.S. Embassy in Budapest posted a statement on Facebook against the legislation.
“The United States stands for the idea that governments should promote freedom of expression and protect human rights, including the rights of members of the LGBTQI+ community. As President Biden noted to those advocating for LGBTQI+ rights in his Pride Month Proclamation on June 1, ‘We see you, we support you, and we are inspired by your courage to accept nothing less than full equality,’” the statement said.
“With this vote, Hungary has adopted a Russian style anti-propaganda law that will effectively ban the representation or communication about diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and sex characteristics in the Hungarian public sphere, as well as specific places such as in schools,” said Evelyn Paradis, executive director of the LGBTQ+ rights group ILGA-Europe, in a press release.
Senior researcher for Human Rights Watch Lydia Gall tweeted, “Associating pedophilia with LGBT people, banning comprehensive sexuality education and stifling free speech is despicable and unworthy of an EU member state.”
On Monday, over 5,000 protested against the legislation in front of Parliament with many in rainbow colors with signs calling out Orbán’s government.
Last year, Fidesz introduced legislation against LGBTQ+ people that included prohibiting people from changing their gender on their legal identity documents and banning same-sex couples from adopting. Hungarian courts found the former unconstitutional.