Hungary: Lawmakers pass blanket ban on all LGBT+ content aimed at under-18s

Pride in Budapest in 2013. Credit: AP

Right-wing lawmakers in Hungary have passed a bill that bans the representation of any sexual orientation that isn't heterosexuality in schools.

The legislation prohibits sharing any content that portrays or promotes homosexuality or gender reassignment to anybody under the age of 18.

It means all LGBT+ content will be banned from sex education in schools in the country, as well as in films and advertisements aimed at under-18s.

LGBT+ activists in Hungary and globally have sharply criticised the bill and compared it to a 2013 Russian law banning so-called gay “propaganda”.

LGBT+ and human rights activists held protests to try to pressure lawmakers into defeating the bill.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Credit: AP

The National Assembly passed the bill on a 157-1 vote.

The ruling Fidesz party has a parliamentary majority, and lawmakers from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure.

All other opposition parties boycotted the voting session to protest discrimination against LGBT people.

“On this shameful day, the opposition’s place is not in the parliament but on the streets,” Budapest Mayor Karacsony wrote on Facebook.

Lawmaker Gergely Arato, of the Democratic Coalition parliamentary grouping, said the changes violate the standards of parliamentary democracy, rule of law and human rights.

A protester waves a rainbow flag during an LGBT+ rights demonstration in front of the Hungarian Parliament building. Credit: AP

The Fidesz party also successfully championed a law making it impossible for transgender people to legally change the gender markers on their identity documents.

Human rights officials say that puts them at risk of humiliation when they need to present identity documents.

Boris Johnson was criticised last month for hosting Hungarian PM Viktor Orban at Downing Street.

Human rights groups have raised concerns about Mr Orban's views on migrants, his alleged Islamophobia, and for assaults on democracy and the freedom of the press.