Hungarian government issues referendum on child protections

22-07-2021

Central Europe

CNE.news

photo EPA, Andrej Cukic

In a reaction to counter EU pressure, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has issued a referendum on child protection.

In a Facebook video, the 58-year old Prime Minister said that “Brussels has attacked Hungary” over the recent child protection law, which bans “sexual propaganda” in schools and in the media.

Brussels now “demands changes to the education law and child protection regulations”, Orbán said. He added that the European Union “complains that Hungary does not allow what has become the Western European practice”, with “LGBTQ activists going into kindergartens and schools to provide sexual information”. According to Orbán, that is “what the Brussels bureaucrats” want in Hungary too, the Budapest Times writes.

Referendum on child protection

These are the questions for the planned referendum:

  • Do you support that minors should attend school classes on the topic of sexual orientations without parental consent?
  • Do you support promoting gender change treatments among minors?
  • Do you support that gender reassignment surgery should be available to minors?
  • Do you support that media content influencing sexual development should be presented to minors without restriction?
  • Do you support that media content depicting gender change should be presented to minors?

The Hungarian government submitted the questions of the referendum to the National Electoral Commission (NVB). According to Origo, a Hungarian news website, the NVB will review the application. It will see if it is a matter within the competence of the National Assembly and if it does not conflict with a prohibited subject, such as the budget or international treaties, and if the wording of the questions are clear.

The NVB has 60 days to review the application. After that, the committees decision can be appealed within 15 days after the release. After that, the referendum can be planned.

Desperate

The opposition is not thrilled with the referendum. According to Klára Dobrev, the Democratic Coalition’s prime ministerial candidate, Orbán, is desperate and tries to cover up reality.

“The European Union will not send a single cent of funding to Hungary, as long as the Prime Minister is called Viktor Orbán”, the current Member of European Parliament said, according to the Hungarian news website 24.hu.

In a reaction to the opposition's comments, the ruling Fidesz party said that “Hungary’s left-wing has sided with Brussels and LGBT activists” and that it has no intentions of withdrawing from the referendum.

Corruption

In recent weeks, Brussels has attacked Hungary for its legislation on the protection of children. “This legislation uses the protection of children as an excuse to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week, calling it “a disgrace”, Politico reports.

The law has brought Orbán on a collision course with human rights groups, and EU politicians are demanding fines from Hungary for the breaching of fundamental principles in the EU.

Last Tuesday, the European Commission declared that the state of law in Hungary is deteriorating. The independence of judges and the fight against corruption, among other things, is not sufficient enough, according to the European Commission.

Since this year, the European Union can stop funding a country if the rule of law in a country is so bad that subsidies may end up in the wrong place. That could be the case if corruption is given free rein or the government gains influence over judges.