News (World)

Hungary passes law allowing citizens to report same-sex parents to law enforcement

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán Photo: Shutterstock

Hungary has just passed a law empowering citizens to report same-sex families with kids to local authorities for violating the “constitutionally recognized role of marriage and the family.” Hungary’s rabidly anti-LGBTQ+ Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is expected to support it.

Hungary’s constitution defines marriage as “between one man and one woman” noting, “the mother is a woman, the father is a man.”

It’s unclear what penalties same-sex parents might face under the new law. But its passage would allow government authorities to harass and prosecute same-sex couples just for raising families.

The law would continue Orbán’s attacks on same-sex families. In 2022, the European Commission, the E.U.’s politically independent executive arm, brought a lawsuit against Hungary to the European Court of Justice, accusing Hungary of widespread institutional anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. Several E.U. member states — including Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, and Spain — have joined the lawsuit.

Under the guise of “anti-pedophilia” laws, Orbán’s administration banned schools and the media from mentioning gay people, amended the constitution to define marriage as only being between a man and woman, effectively erased transgender people by banning them from legally changing their gender, and pulled out of the Eurovision song competition because it was a “homosexual flotilla.”

Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party has made hateful remarks about LGBTQ+ people, trolled Pride events, and boycotted business campaigns that feature same-sex couples. His cultural commissioner, Imre Kerényi, said in 2014 that theater and film are “in the hands of a lobby of faggots.”

In a 2015 interview, Orbán said that things would get worse for “the Hungarian homosexual community” if “the community of homosexuals starts being more provocative.”

Orbán’s anti-LGBTQ+ actions compelled the World Congress of Families, an annual anti-LGBTQ conference, to praise him as a “pro-family hero.” The Heritage Foundation also praised him as well, saying he will “replace the shipwreck of liberal democracy by building 21st Century Christian democracy.”

Despite Orbán’s so-called “Christian” politics, the Pope himself has criticized Orbán’s policies.

Additionally, the European Parliament voted to condemn Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ attacks, and leaders of E.U. member nations said that Hungary should no longer remain an E.U. member because of its anti-LGBTQ+ politics.

Orbán’s anti-LGBTQ+ attacks have coincided with an erosion of democracy in his country. The pro-democracy group Freedom House downgraded Hungary from “free” to “partly free” in its annual report. The CIVICUS Monitor watchlist placed Hungary on its list of countries that have seen a rapid decline in fundamental civic freedoms – including the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly, and expression.

Update (April 24, 2023): Hungary’s President Katalin Novák has vetoed the law, saying that it “weakens the protection of fundamental values.” It’s unclear if the country’s legislature will override her veto.

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