Lawmakers in Hungary passed a law Tuesday that would prohibit showing LGBT and transgender content to minors as part of legislation to combat pedophilia.
The ruling conservative party to which Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban belongs introduced the measure and the National Assembly passed the legislation with a 157-1 vote, as reported by NPR. “The ruling Fidesz party has a parliamentary majority, and lawmakers from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure. One independent lawmaker voted against it,” the outlet noted.
The other opposition parties reportedly didn’t show up to the voting session as a form of protesting the legislation. Those who are against the bill say that it could lead to stigmatization and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The legislation sparked protests in Budapest as LGBT activists gathered with others in a failed attempt to block the bill.
Csaba Domotor, the Fidesz state secretary, said the goal is “the protection of children,” noting the inclusion of a searchable database of convicted pedophiles as part of the updates, The Associated Press reported.
“Pedophiles won’t be able to hide any more – there are similar solutions in other countries, too. The criminal code will be even more strict. Punishments will be more severe. No one can get away with atrocities with light punishments and parole,” he said.
“Lawmaker Gergely Arato, of the Democratic Coalition parliamentary grouping, said the changes violate the standards of parliamentary democracy, rule of law and human rights,” NPR added.
“On this shameful day, the opposition’s place is not in the parliament but on the streets,” Budapest Mayor Karacsony wrote on Facebook.
“Today’s decision in #Hungary’s parliament represents another severe state discrimination against #LGBTIQ people,” Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth of Germany tweeted Tuesday after the new legislation passed. “This law goes against everything we regard as our common European values. Full solidarity and support for LGBTIQ people in Hungary.”
Today's decision in #Hungary's parliament represents another severe state discrimination against #LGBTIQ people. This law goes against everything we regard as our common European values. Full solidarity and support for LGBTIQ people in Hungary.
— Michael Roth MdB 🇪🇺 (@MiRo_SPD) June 15, 2021
The bill reportedly primarily centered on combatting pedophilia by increasing sentences for sex crimes committed against children. It also established a public database of sex offenders, per The New York Times. However, it had amendments “that ban the representation of any sexual orientation besides heterosexual as well as gender change information in school sex education programs, or in films and advertisements aimed at anyone under 18,” according to NPR.
Some reported on the passage of the legislation as an effort to boost support for the conservative party before next year’s elections. The New York Times reported that the additional rules added to the bill last week “require the labeling of all content that might fall into that category of ‘not recommended for those under 18 years of age.’ Such content would be restricted for media like television to the hours between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The restrictions extend to advertisements and even sexual education, which the law would restrict to teachers and organizations approved by the government.”
The legislation comes after backlash has occurred in the United States against entertainment companies such as Nickelodeon that appear to be catering to leftist ideology by creating children’s programming that promotes LGBT behavior.
As reported by The Daily Wire, “In the last two weeks, both Nickelodeon and its preschool-targeted network, Nick Jr., have released videos championing ‘trans,’ ‘queer,’ and ‘pansexual’ inclusion.”
It doesn’t seem to be doing the network many favors, however, as its ratings appear to have been negatively affected by the recent shows.
“Pirates and Princesses, a popular entertainment site specializing in Disney-related news, reports Nickelodeon YouTube videos were ‘downvoted to such a degree that they’ve now hidden the ratio.’ The site also says the network has seen a major decline in viewers since it began overtly pushing the LGBTQ agenda to its young viewers,” The Daily Wire noted.
It might be difficult for any legislation to pass that is meant to protect children from specific content, however, if those who oppose such efforts continue to push the implication that virtually all LGBT content is automatically acceptable.