Hungarian lawmakers have approved
holding a public vote on LGBT issues.
The vote will coincide with the
re-election campaign of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a vocal opponent
of LGBT rights.
European leaders have called for
sanctions against Hungary, an EU member since 2014, over a law that
prohibits the discussion of LGBT issues, including transgenderism and
homosexuality, to minors. It has been compared to Russia's 2013 law
that prohibits “gay propaganda.” Russia has used the law to
silence LGBT activists.
Nationalist Orban has previously
criticized the EU for its opposition to the law, and has defended it
as a “child protection law.”
According to Reuters, the Hungarian
parliament approved four questions for the ballot. It does not appear
that voters will be asked to vote directly on the law, which was
approved in June.
"The Hungarian government proposes
that citizens should have a chance to express their stance on the
issues of gender propaganda," deputy minister Balazs Orban told
"We are committed. We believe that
we ...have to say no to LGBTQ propaganda in schools carried out with
the help of NGOs and media, without parental consent,” he added.
Voters will be asked whether they
support the promotion of homosexuality or transgenderism to children
without parental consent in schools or the media.
The AP reported that the referendum
could be held on the same day as a national election in the spring.
Orban and his Fidesz party will also be on the ballot.