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Home/Rod Dreher/Orban: Let The People Vote On LGBT Law

Orban: Let The People Vote On LGBT Law

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban announces upcoming referendum on LGBT information law

Big news from Hungarian PM Viktor Orban today. Here’s part of the translated announcement:

The Hungarian government is initiating a referendum on the issue of child protection, Viktor Orbán announced on Wednesday. Questions will include what parents think about introducing sexual propaganda to children in public education institutions.

There will also be questions asking how much parents support  giving lectures in schools  about gender reassignment treatments. The Prime Minister is asking everyone to say no to these issues together.

Brussels has attacked Hungary in recent weeks for child protection laws, said Viktor Orbán. The prime minister added that the European Union is demanding an amendment to the Education and Child Protection Act.

[Quote from Orban:] “Brussels is now demanding an amendment to the Education Act and child protection rules. They regret that it is not possible with us, which is already permanent in Western Europe. There, LGBTQ activists visit kindergartens and schools, they provide sexual education. Here, too, they want this, which is why the bureaucrats in Brussels are threatening and instituting infringement proceedings, ie abusing their power.”

– said the Prime Minister. He added that the future of our children is at stake, so we cannot let go on this issue. When the pressure on our country is so strong, only the common will of the people can protect Hungary.

The referendum questions will be:

  1. Do you support having a sexual orientation session in a public education institution without parental consent?
  2. Do you support the promotion of gender reassignment treatments for minor children?
  3. Do you support the availability of gender reassignment treatments for minors?
  4. Do you support the unrestricted presentation of sexual media content to minors that affects their development?
  5. Do you support the display of gender-sensitive media content to minor children?

This is a brilliant move. The Hungarian opposition did not vote on the law, because they saw it as manipulative. There was broad agreement among all parliamentarians that Hungary’s anti-pedophilia laws needed strengthening. Fidesz, Orban’s party, added to it the LGBT propaganda law banning the things implicit in those five questions. The liberal opposition believed — no doubt correctly — that this was a political move to strongarm them into voting for a bill (the anti-LGBT information bill) that they oppose, or stand accused of being soft on pedophilia. They’re right — it was a brash and manipulative political move. Nevertheless, the legislation itself, in my view, was correct and necessary. I found myself the other day speaking to a critic of the legislation, but when I explained to him how far this propaganda has gone in the US, he was visibly shocked, and admitted that he was out of touch, and had no idea that things were that bad in America.

Anyway, now the Orban government is going to give the entire Hungarian people the opportunity to vote on this. The Hungarian observer who first brought this to my attention says it is inconceivable that majorities will not deliver a resounding NO to all the referendum questions. If that happens, it will put the European Union leaders in opposition not just to Orban, but to a majority of the Hungarian nation. The EU’s attack on Hungary over this law will be clearly seen as an attack not just on Orban and the Fidesz-led government, but on the entire nation and its values.

Which is certainly is!But the referendum will make that explicit. There is no date set for the referendum. It would be a baller move to make it on the same day as the 2022 elections, to drive voter turnout for Fidesz, but my Hungarian observer friend says she thinks it will be held much sooner.

Is this an attempt by Orban to distract people from the Pegasus scandal? Sure, probably. But whatever his motivations, the fact is that this is an extremely important issue involving the fundamental moral sense of Hungarian society, and the protection of its children from this ideology. If I were Hungarian, I wouldn’t care what Viktor Orban’s motives were for this move — I would just be grateful that he was making it. All the Central European governments should do the same. Let the people vote. Quit allowing these liberal Western cultural oligarchs and their legislative water-carriers decide to rewrite the moral law.

We had similar referendums in the US on gay marriage back in the first decade of this century. Gay marriage was voted down in most, and maybe all, of them. But the Supreme Court overruled all of them. At least in Hungary, an oligarchical EU elite won’t be able to invalidate the will of the people. Good for Hungary.

UPDATE:From The Guardian‘s report:

Rights groups said the referendum is likely to increase discrimination and stigmatisation of Hungary’s LGBT community, and make life more difficult and dangerous for LGBT children.

“Organising a referendum to take away fundamental rights of a minority reminds us of Europe in the 1930s,” said Rémy Bonny, a Belgian LGBT rights activist, in a statement. “This referendum [is] not only putting the LGBTIQ-community back in the closet, it also endangers the basic rights of children.”

What “fundamental rights of a minority”? The referendum does not affect homosexuals and transgenders per se; it has to do with minor children, a category that everybody recognizes is not the same thing. Unlike people of a certain age, minors are not permitted to have sex legally; does that violate their “fundamental rights”? This is sophistry.

And, what “basic rights of children”? The right to have access to teaching that violates what their religion, and their parents, and their society, believes is inappropriate for children? If this is what the EU believes is a “right,” then it is morally tyrannical, and the Hungarians are correct to reject it.

UPDATE: Reader George Igler comments:

The official translation Mr Dreher cites, of Hungary’s recently announced referendum questions, is inaccurate. (Though the press-released rendering captures the intended gist the original text goes to the heart of the matter — obfuscated in English by a lexicon of sterile euphemisms like “gender” and “reassignment” — in a typically no-nonsense Hungarian fashion.)

What is translated as “minors” for example, namely, ‘kis korú gyermekek;’ literally means: small age kiddies. So, an American would likely say “elementary school kids,” a Brit, “primary school children.” That’s much more forceful, and blatantly frank — Brussels will insist on playing directly into Orbán’s hands, in all of this; Hungarians are not particularly religious but they are ferocious, to the point of rabid, over keeping their children from harm.

The real gut-punch wording, however, is the use of ‘nemi,’ which is given as “gender” in translation; in questions like: “2. Do you support the promotion of gender reassignment treatments for minor children?” — but ‘nemi’ doesn’t mean “gender,” like it does in terms such as Gender Studies, or the inflection of French nouns. It’s the Hungarian adjective for genital.

Hence, “2. Do you support the promotion of genitalia-converting treatments to elementary schoolchildren?” is much closer to the mark. (the chief puberty blocker which the west prescribes to kids by the way, is Leuprorelin, an FDA terminal prostate cancer drug adapted initially to chemically castrate incarcerated sex offenders)

Hungary’s Prime Minister is therefore plainly tapping directly into a great taboo, with these questions: just how nauseating many find the relentless fixation of those leading sterile childless lifestyles to outflank parents, and get, at all costs, both into their kids’ heads and pants — to at the very least best facilitate their more prompt irreversible sexual mutilation — all done with zero insight under the absurd aegis of Civil Rights. (Von der Leyen’s remarks are especially trite, if one’s read this week’s New Yorker piece about how Germany relatively recently, quite intentionally housed multiple adoptee children with known paedophiles — in a “social experiment.”)

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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