Activists in Budapest Protest Hungary’s Anti-LGBTQ Law Outside Parliament

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Activists in Budapest Protest Hungary’s Anti-LGBTQ Law Outside Parliament” – below is their description.

    Activists in Hungary erected a large rainbow-colored heart in front of the country’s ornate neo-Gothic Parliament building on Thursday, vowing civil disobedience to a recently passed law they say discriminates against and marginalizes LGBT people.

    The rainbow colors, now in the form of the 10-meter (30 foot) heart opposite the 117-year-old parliament, have in recent weeks become a symbol of resistance to the policies of Hungary’s government under right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

    A law passed in June – which prohibits the display of content depicting homosexuality or gender reassignment to minors – ignited intense opposition in Hungary and became a common cause among many European Union lawmakers for reining in Orban’s government.

    At the Thursday demonstration, rights groups said the law strips thousands of LGBT young people from crucial information and support, and violates Hungarian and international human rights standards.

    A spokesperson for the Hatter Society, Hungary’s largest LGBT advocacy group, Luca Dudits said the legislation puts LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people) youth “more at risk and more in danger of bullying and harassment in schools and in their families as well.”

    The law, which came into force on Thursday, forbids the depiction of content to minors that depicts homosexuality in television shows, films and advertisements.

    It also bans organizations from holding educational programs on sexual orientation in schools unless they are approved by the government.

    But some right groups say that they will continue to provide teachers with training and educational materials, and offer their services to anyone regardless of age.

    The director of Amnesty International Hungary David Vig, who attended the protest, described the law as “fundamentalist” and said that recent surveys showed that the majority of the Hungarians are against it.

    Orban’s government – which next year faces elections expected to be the most competitive since his party returned to power in 2010 – has transformed much of the country along religious conservative lines, and has clashed with the 27-member EU over issues like migration, corruption and the rule of law.

    High-ranking European officials have rebuked the recent legislation as a violation of EU values, and many European leaders have demanded its repeal.

    EU lawmakers on Thursday are expected to approve a joint resolution condemning the legislation, and have urged the European Commission to take swift action against Hungary unless it changes tack.

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    In This Story: Hungary

    Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Its capital, Budapest, is bisected by the Danube River. Its cityscape is studded with architectural landmarks from Buda’s medieval Castle Hill and grand neoclassical buildings along Pest’s Andrássy Avenue to the 19th-century Chain Bridge. Turkish and Roman influence on Hungarian culture includes the popularity of mineral spas, including at thermal Lake Hévíz.

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