On Wednesday, the Background Society and Amnesty International Hungary announced another protest against a new law, which according to critics conflates pedophilia with LGBTQI issues and bans the “promotion” of homosexuality, or even depicting it to children. Participants marched in front of the Sándor Palace, the official residence of Hungary’s President, to stop János Áder from signing the law passed on Tuesday.
According to press reports, about 500 people attended the demonstration, which was held without any speeches. The organizers had previously asked members of the Hungarian LGBTQI community to write a letter about their personal stories when they decided to come out, whose support they could rely on in their families and close circles, and what this support meant to them at the time. The letters were then collected in a box on the spot, and were delivered to President Áder.
“I feel lucky, because whenever I told any of my close friends or family members that I’m attracted to my own sex, I always received loving and supportive responses. My school, full of open-minded, tolerant teachers and students played an important role in it. Even my classmates, who don’t necessarily bring such ideas from home, were kindly accepting that I am gay. My own example shows that an open, inclusive environment, where you can talk about topics like homosexuality or transgenderism, can turn even narrow-minded teenagers into loving people,” one of the participants told 444.hu.
Another participant told Telex that he was 18 years old when he first had the courage to talk to his religion teacher about being gay. The educator asked him about his parents’ reaction when he came out and assured him if there were any problems at home, he would be granted shelter at the monastery.
As we previously reported, the Hungarian parliament has passed a new law, which according to critics conflates pedophilia with LGBTQI issues. Although a widely-supported original bill submitted in early June by Máté Kocsis, leader of the governing Fidesz party group, only presented harsher sentences for the crime of pedophilia, supported by all opposition parties, the last-minute amendments by Fidesz also tacked on another proposal banning ‘the promotion of homosexuality and gender change surgery to minors.’
A day before Tuesday’s vote on the law, thousands protested against the regulation, which according to LGBTQI civil organizations, is nothing more than a Russian-style attack on freedom of expression and children’s rights.
Featured photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI