LGBT referendum Hungary fails


Central Europe


Photo EPA, Martin Divisek

A referendum on LGBT policies in Hungary is not valid because less than half of the voters showed up.

Hungarians could answer yes or no to four questions on Sunday, including whether they think gender reassignment among children should be “promoted” and whether schools should be allowed to hold workshops on sexual orientation without parental consent.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had called the referendum after international criticism of a controversial law that should protect children from information about homosexuality and gender surgery. “This is about the right of the kids and the parents”, Orbán said in response to accusations of LGBTphobia, as reported by Evangelical Focus.

Although turnout was low, many Hungarians seemed to support Orbán. More than 90 per cent of voters who did show up voted in line with government policy. As the Hungarian news website Ungarn Heute reports, a large majority said “no” to sexual orientation classes, gender reassignment treatments for minors and media content about these topics.

Orbán, prime minister since 2010, sees himself as a defender of Christian and traditional values. Last year, he called the referendum part of an “ideological war” with the European Union. The referendum took place on the same day as the parliamentary elections. That ballot was won by Orbán’s party Fidesz. The ruling party retains its two-thirds majority in parliament.



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