LGBTQ+ activists in Hungary erected a 30-foot-high rainbow heart in front of the country’s parliament in Budapest on Thursday. The move comes as a new law against LGBTQ+ people comes into force.
That law, which passed on June 15, forbids any display of content that depicts homosexuality or gender-affirming practices to minors. Activists say it is just the latest attack on the LGBTQ+ community following laws passed last year that prevent same-sex couples from adopting and trans people from changing their gender on their legal documents.
The most recent law has drawn condemnation from inside the central European country as well as from the European Union.
Activists have said that the latest law prevents LGBTQ+ youth from necessary information and support.
“We think that the only path we can pursue is civil disobedience, and we will not change anything about our activities,” Luca Dudits, a spokesperson for Hungarian LGBTQ+ rights group Hatter Society told The Associated Press.
Dudits told the news wire that Hatter Society still plans to provide resources to teachers.
The new law “stigmatizes LGBTQ people and actually puts LGBTQ youth more ... in danger of bullying and harassment in schools and in their families as well,” Dudits explained.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported the Hungarian government fined the distributor of a children’s book that features same-sex parents under a law that bans unfair trade practices. Government officials said the book should have come with a warning about the “different” content in it.
The distributor will have to pay the equivalent of about $830.
The book Early One Morning is a Hungarian translation of a U.S. book from Lawrence Schimel. He told Reuters, “It is a coordinated attack, [the Hungarian government] are trying different methods in order to create fear about talking about rainbow families and other issues that exist in the world.”
Officials at the EU have called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban to repeal the latest law.
In a speech earlier this week at the European Parliament, the EU’s head of the executive Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the law “is a disgrace.”
“This legislation uses the protection of children as an excuse to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation,” she said.
EU lawmakers have urged the body not to provide Hungary with funds that would go toward its economic recovery after COVID-19.
“We expect EU institutions to act firmly and the European Commission to start an infringement procedure ... because this is in clear contradiction not just with EU values, but also with binding EU law and the commission’s LGBTQ strategy,” David Vig, director of Amnesty International Hungary, told the AP.