Hungary parliament clears way for government’s LGBTQ referendum as election nears

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BUDAPEST – Hungary’s parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution that would give the government the right to hold a referendum on LGBTQ issues, taking Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-LGBTQ campaign to a new level as he faces a tough election race next year. will be involved in.

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Orban, a nationalist who has been in power since 2010, proposed a referendum this year on ruling party legislation limiting schools’ teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues, fueling a culture war with the European Union. does.

Facing his first competitive election in more than a decade, the nationalist Orban has sought to promote social policies that he says defend Christian values ​​against Western liberalism, hold gender issues and what he calls LGBTQ. Says propaganda with migration at the center of its campaign.

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Parliament voted one by one on the four referendum questions, passing them with a ruling majority of Fidesz.

“The Hungarian government proposes that citizens should have the opportunity to express their stance on issues of gender propaganda,” Deputy Minister Balázs Orbán told parliament.

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“We are committed. We believe that without parental consent, we must say no to LGBTQ propaganda in schools, carried out with the help of NGOs and the media.”

He said holding the referendum on the same day would save taxpayers money from a parliamentary vote, but it was up to President Janos Eder to decide the date. The government’s ally, Ader, has yet to set a date for parliamentary elections, which are expected to take place in April.

In the referendum, Hungarians will be asked whether they support the holding of sexual orientation workshops in schools without parental consent and whether they believe gender reassignment procedures should be promoted among children. .

They will also be asked whether media material that may affect sexual orientation should be shown to children without restriction.

The law passed in June, which the government says is supposed to protect children, has raised concerns among the LGBT community.

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