The referendum in Hungary on LGBTQ+ issues, which coincided with the general election on 3rd April, has been declared invalid as it failed to reach the minimum requirement 50% of available votes, with several spoiled (and therefore invalid) intentionally cast by the 50% of respondents who did decide to take part.
The referendum comprised four questions:
- Do you support the teaching of sexual orientation to minors in public education institutions without parental consent?
- Do you support the promotion of sex reassignment therapy for underage children?
- Do you support the unrestricted exposure of underage children to sexually explicit media content that may affect their development?
- Do you support the showing of sex-change media content to minors?
This unequivocal demonstration by the Hungarian people that they disagree with Victor Orbán’s government’s position, attacks on the rights of the LGBTQ+ community continues to place the country at odds with the European Union, prompting the EU’s LGBTI Intergroup’s Vice President Maria Walsh MEP to comment: “Hungarian voters do not support this government’s anti-LGBTIQ stance, but Orbán persists. This highlights why the values of the EU such as democracy and fundamental rights are under siege in Hungary.
“It is imperative that the Article 7 – Rule of Law proceedings lead to fruitful results. We call on the Council to proceed with discussions and to put forward binding recommendations on Hungary so that the EU’s architecture of freedoms is preserved.”
The failure of the referendum to gain traction among Hungary’s voters has not deterred the government from pursuing their homophobic agenda, and it seems that they are now turning their attention to volunteer organisations. The government has issued fines to 16 NGOs who campaigned against the referendum while shutting down LGBTQ+ community spaces across the country.
Anyone wishing to express their disquiet to the Hungarian authorities can email Hungary’s London embassy here: firstname.lastname@example.org