Hungary Announces Preparations to Hold a Referendum on Child Protection Issues in Response to European Union Pressure

On Wednesday, Hungary announced intentions to hold a vote on child protection problems in response to European Union criticism over laws that the bloc claims discriminate against LGBT people.

Prime Minister Viktor Organ escalated a cultural war with the European Commission, accusing the EU executive of abusing its powers in contesting recent modifications to Hungary’s education and child protection laws.

Organ’s decision to conduct a referendum drew no immediate response from the European Commission. The prime minister, who has been in power since 2010 and is up for re-election in April, portrays himself as a champion of traditional Christian values against Western liberalism and has intensified his anti-LGBT campaign.

An anti-LGBT regulation that went into effect this month prohibits the use of materials in schools that promote homosexuality and gender transition. It has raised tensions with the Commission and prompted alarm among the LGBT community.

Brussels’ legal action last week against the legislation might put a stop to EU funds for Budapest. Brussels has been openly criticizing Hungary’s child protection legislation in recent weeks. Sexual propaganda is prohibited in Hungary’s kindergartens, schools, on television, and in commercials.

These might include questions such as whether Hungarians favor holding sexual orientation workshops in schools without their consent or whether gender reassignment procedures should be promoted among minors.

Orban said the questions will include whether or not content that could influence a child’s sexual orientation should be shown without limits, as well as whether or not gender reassignment operations should be available to youngsters.

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