This is a first in Hungary. On the occasion of the legislative elections on Sunday April 3, for which the turnout promises to be high (around 70%), voters will not only make the trip to renew Viktor Orban as head of the country or prefer him Péter Marki-Zay , the opposition candidate. They will also come to make a choice of society, at the request of a nationalist-conservative executive which is organizing a referendum under the slogan “Protect the children! » Before a change in the electoral law last year, it was not possible to offer such a double ballot.
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The government is seeking popular assent to a law already passed in Parliament this summer, which outlaws “promotion” homosexuality or gender reassignment among minors. The latter, for example, prohibits the appearance of any gay or transgender person on television before 10 p.m. The four questions of the referendum are worded as follows: “Do you support the holding of sexual orientation sessions for minor children in public education without parental consent? » ; “Do you support the promotion of sex reassignment treatments for minors? » ; “Do you support the unrestricted introduction of sexual content in the media aimed at minors and affecting their development? » ; “Do you support the posting of gender sensitive media content to minors? »
Infringement procedure against Hungary
Such positions are recent in Hungary. Homosexuality had been decriminalized in the early 1960s, and civil unions between spouses of the same sex recognized in 1996. The European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Hungary, a member of the European Union, on Thursday July 15. since 2004. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU prohibits any discrimination based on sexual orientation. The pro-government site of the referendum denounces “the bureaucrats and certain groups of activists in Brussels”. He defends a law that “provides adequate protection against propaganda affecting children, whether in the form of media content or lectures given by activists in schools”.
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The opposition denounces an attempt at manipulation. “The goal is not to protect our children, but to reinforce the country’s divisions by replicating Putin’s policies of inciting hatred against the LGBTQ community and distracting attention from the country’s real problems: the continued rise in price, the health system in a catastrophic situation, livelihoods or widespread corruption”considers the opposition party Momentum on its website.
NGOs call for not voting
Many invalid votes could invalidate this parallel referendum, even if three out of four Hungarians are tempted to vote “no” to the first question on parental permission for sex education in school, according to polls.
Indeed, the vote will only be valid if half of the electorate (established at 8.2 million citizens) is mobilized on all questions. In all, 14 NGOs called not to participate. Including Amnesty International Hungary, which denounces an attempt to “hiding sexual and gender minorities from the public eye”.