Back before the U.S. legalized marriage equality in 2015, conservative politicians would warn that it would lead to pedophilia and man-on-dog marriage (right, Rick Santorum?). Of course, these hateful predictions never materialized. But even though American conservatives have mostly stopped doomsaying such things about gay marriage — mostly — politicians elsewhere are still uttering the same tired lie.
At a town hall just this last week, Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament László Kövér compared same-sex marriage and queer adoption to pedophilia, according to the European news outlet Index. Here’s what Kövér said:
“Morally there is no difference between the behavior of a pedophile and the behavior of someone who demands [same-sex marriage and gay adoption]. In both cases, the children are treated as objects, luxury goods, mere tools for gratification, for self-realization. I don’t want to have children for various reasons, but I claim the right to raise someone else’s child. A normal homosexual is aware of the order of things in the world, and knows that he was born this way, he became like this. He tries to fit into this world while he doesn’t necessarily think he is equal.”
For bad measure, Kövér also made a transphobic “joke” about liberal parents deciding the gender of their children years after the child is born. He also claimed that certain countries “abolish genders in languages… and “have three kinds of bathrooms at public institutions — one for women, one for men, and one for ‘…the third,'” according to Index.
Later on, his chief of staff Gergely Gulyás backed him up, stating the tired old line, “Every child has a right to a mother and father” and that same-sex couples only look to adopt out of “selfishness.”
While homosexuality is legal in Hungary, same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples are not. Marriage equality was banned by constitutional amendment in 2012. Hungary’s cultural commissioner, Imre Kerényi, said in 2014 that theater and film are “in the hands of the a lobby of f*ggots.”
Last year, the State Opera cancelled 15 performances of Billy Elliot after an op-ed in a government newspaper said that the play would turn kids gay.