The Hungarian Parliament has passed a sex crimes law making it illegal to provide pornography and content promoting gender reassignment and homosexuality to anyone under the age of 18.
Supporters of the law stressed the need to protect children and support parents, citing the need to ensure “the protection of the rights of the child.”
The Principal Measures
The law states that “pornography and content that depicts sexuality for its own purposes or that promotes deviation from gender identity, gender reassignment, and homosexuality shall not be made available to persons under the age of eighteen years.”
In addition, sex education classes, “should not be aimed at promoting gender segregation, gender reassignment, or homosexuality.” Apart from school teachers, only officially registered individuals or organizations can teach sex education classes.
Finally, television channels will have to affix an “18 years or over” warning on films and shows whose content deviates from the law, limiting their broadcasting time between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Hungary’s media authority will take action if these rules are violated.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that “the protection of our children is more than a question of zero tolerance for pedophiles, while the education of minors in matters of sexual orientation is the sole right of parents.”
The bill also creates a public database of sex offenders. The bill was approved on June 15 by 157 votes to 1. Most opposition parties abstained.
Opponents of the new law staged protests that drew several thousand people.
Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, called for the rejection of the legislation, criticizing measures she said, “limit human rights or stigmatize ... some members of society.” She claims that young people have the right to receive comprehensive sex education, including discussion of LGBT issues.
Budapest Pride called on U.S. LGBT groups, political leaders and government officials to call on President Joe Biden to raise the issue of this law in meetings with NATO and EU leaders on July 14-15, reports BBC News.
The United States Embassy in Hungary criticized the law. “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,” the embassy said.
The law is consistent with the Hungarian constitution which recognizes the family and the nation as “the principal framework of our coexistence” and declares “our fundamental cohesive values are fidelity, faith, and love.”
“Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman established by voluntary decision, and the family as the basis of the nation’s survival,” it says.
Finally, it affirms that “every child has the right to receive a Christian upbringing” and “every child has the right to live according to his sex at birth.”