On Friday, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) decried a new law proposed by Hungary that would “deny trans and gender diverse people the right to legal recognition and self-determination.”
The legislation, which was passed by parliament on a 157 to one vote earlier this month, prohibits gay individuals from being featured in educational materials for children. The legislation also prohibits companies from producing advertisements that support the LGBTQ community, if the advertisements are considered to be targeting youth. Those who violate the law “could be fined or have their broadcasting suspended.”
Critics of the bill, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, maintain that the law is discriminatory. Leaders of the European Union issued a joint letter in support of the LGBTQ community just prior to a scheduled conference in Brussels last week, emphasizing that “[EU members] are diverse and tolerant societies, committed to the unhindered development of the personality of each one of our citizens, including their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Supporters of the legislation, including Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s ruling party, Fidesz, maintain that the law has been drafted to support children’s moral development as “there are contents which children under a certain age can misunderstand and which may have a detrimental effect on their development.”
According to the statement by UN human rights expert Victor Madrigal-Borloz:
Everyone has the right to recognition as a person before the law, including persons of diverse gender identities … [Hungary’s proposed] bill would negate the existence of trans and gender diverse people in [that country] and adversely impact them in almost every aspect of their daily life. A proposed change to the Hungarian Registry Act would replace the term “sex/gender” (nem) with “birth sex” (születési nem), defining it as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes,” and establishes that this “birth sex” cannot be changed once recorded. Also, the legislation might invalidate existing government documents issued to trans and gender diverse people … Hungary must not target trans and gender diverse people under the guise of protecting health and should strictly limit the use of emergency power to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation is linked to a bill that seeks to impose stricter penalties for pedophilia.