Hungary | Anti-LGBT law applies around churches and schools

(Budapest) The Hungarian government has announced that the provisions of its controversial new law against homosexuality will apply around churches and schools.

The “Anti-Pedophilia Act” was passed in June and was originally intended to toughen penalties for child abuse, but included amendments to ban “promoting homosexuality” under the age of 18.

The State Order, which determines the methods of application of the law, regulates the “exhibition or representation” of objects that indicate “disclosure of homosexuality” or “deviation of identity associated with birth sex.”

The government has said it will ban the sale of such items within 200 meters of churches and schools and child welfare institutions.

When these items are available, they should be sold in sealed packages.

The law has created new tensions between Hungary and the European Union.

European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen called it a “disgrace” and the commission launched a breach of procedure against Hungary, arguing that the action movement violated EU rules on freedom of expression, free trade and the provision of services.

Photo by Stephanie LeCock, Agency France-Press Archives

Ursula van der Leyen

The law is part of a plan by nationalist Prime Minister Victor Orban to replace Hungary with so-called “liberals” based on conservative Christian values.

The Hungarian branch of Amnesty International responded to the latest announcement by promising that “sooner or later the law will fail.”

“In the meantime, it is the responsibility of all of us not to succumb to the nonsensical provocation of government hatred,” the NGO said on Facebook on Saturday.

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Some analysts believe that President Orban’s attack on the LGBT community is aimed at consolidating his conservative voter base in preparation for next year’s election.

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