Hungary lawmakers pass bill barring LGBT content for minors, move denounced by rights groups
Lawmakers in Hungary approved legislation Tuesday that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment, which human rights groups denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination.
Fidesz, the conservative ruling party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, introduced the legislation, which is the latest effort to curtail the rights of LGBT people in the European Union nation located in central Europe.
Hungary's National Assembly approved the bill in a 157-1 vote. Fidesz has a parliamentary majority, and lawmakers from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure. One independent lawmaker voted against it.
Thousands of LGBT activists and others held a protest in Budapest on Monday in an unsuccessful effort to stop the legislation from passing.
Law called 'state discrimination' against LGBT people
Dunja Mijatovic, the commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, the continent's leading human rights body, also had asked Hungarian lawmakers to reject the legislation, saying it reinforced prejudice against LGBT people.
Michael Roth, Germany's deputy foreign minister, said the decision "represents another severe state discrimination" against LGBT people.
Csaba Domotor, the Fidesz state secretary, described the goal as "the protection of children," noting that the changes include the introduction of a searchable registry of convicted pedophiles.
"Pedophiles won't be able to hide any more — there are similar solutions in other countries, too," he said. "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."