Lawmakers in Hungary approved legislation Tuesday that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment, something supporters said would help fight pedophilia but which human rights groups denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination.
Fidesz, the conservative ruling party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, introduced the legislation, which is the latest effort to curtail the rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in the European Union nation located in central Europe.
Hungary’s National Assembly approved the bill in a 157-1 vote. Fidesz has a parliamentary majority, and lawmakers from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure. One independent lawmaker voted against it.
Csaba Domotor, the Fidesz state secretary, described the goal as “the protection of children,” noting that the changes include the introduction of a searchable registry of convicted pedophiles.
“Pedophiles won’t be able to hide any more – there are similar solutions in other countries, too. The criminal code will be even more strict. Punishments will be more severe. No one can get away with atrocities with light punishments and parole,” he said.
The Fidesz party also successfully championed a law last year making it impossible for transgender people to legally change the gender markers on their identity documents. Human rights officials say that puts them at risk of humiliation when they need to present identity documents.