Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced this Wednesday that his country will hold a referendum on what he defined as "the protection of children", alluding to the law that prohibits the dissemination of any content related to the LGTBI group, not only in schools but in every area where there may be minors. The consultation, said the ultra-conservative nationalist Orbán, aims to combat "pressure from the EU" to change this legislation that led the European Commission to open a file with Hungary on July 15.
“In recent weeks, Brussels has clearly attacked Hungary for its child protection law. Hungarian laws do not allow sexual propaganda in kindergartens, schools, television and advertisements, ”said the prime minister in a video on the social network Facebook. In that recording, Orbán stated: "The future of our children is at stake, so we cannot give ground on this issue."
The head of the Hungarian Government did not specify the date on which the consultation will take place, but did inform that it will include five questions. Among them, Hungarians will be questioned whether they support holding sexual orientation workshops in schools without their consent or whether they believe that sex reassignment procedures should be promoted among children. The prime minister specified that the questions will in turn be about whether the content that affects the sexual orientation of children should be offered without restrictions and if the sex reassignment procedures should be available to minors.
The European Commission has not yet reacted to this announcement by the Hungarian Prime Minister, with whom it has maintained a constant pulse since coming to power in 2010, accentuated in recent months by its homophobic drift. Orbán, who presents himself as the champion of the traditional Christian values of Western liberalism, has intensified his campaign against the LGTBI collective, when in April 2022 he will try to revalidate his position in the elections scheduled for then.
The European Union considers that the law that prohibits the dissemination of LGTBI content among minors violates the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in aspects such as freedom of expression and non-discrimination. The Commission maintains that the controversial legal regulation also violates four Community directives – Audiovisual Services, Electronic Commerce, Transparency of the Single Market and Data Protection – and that it goes against the provision of goods and services of cross-border way. When opening the file to Hungary on July 15, Brussels also specified that this legislation is incompatible with "human dignity, freedom of expression and information, the right to respect for private life and the right to non-discrimination."
The opening of a file to Hungary is the first step in a process that can end in the Court of Justice of the EU and have as a consequence the suspension of European funding to this country. Already before July 15, Brussels was suspending the approval of its 7.2 billion euro pandemic recovery plan for Hungary. That same day, the Commission announced the opening of another infringing procedure in Poland for the so-called LGTBI ideology-free zones created in several municipalities.