Hungary Approves National Referendum On LGBT Issues

Euronews reports:

Hungary’s parliament has approved the government’s plan to hold a national referendum on LGBT issues. The move is the latest step by the Hungarian authorities that critics say is intended to limit minority rights.

The decision to call the referendum was approved with 129 votes in favour and none against. Opposition lawmakers abstained from voting on the resolution. Hungarian citizens will also be asked whether they support a ban on the publication of LGBT content that “influences the development of underage children”.

Earlier this year, Budapest announced it would seek to hold a referendum after passing a law that banned the “depiction or promotion” of homosexuality to children.

The Associated Press reports:

Based on newly adopted rules, the referendum can be held on the same day as a national election scheduled for the spring in which Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party are expected to face their toughest competition since coming to power in 2010.

The government says that holding the referendum on Election Day would save money. But critics contend the government is using the vote on LGBT issues as a publicly funded promotion of its policies.

On Monday, the head of Orban’s Cabinet office, Antal Rogan, told a parliamentary committee that the government would conduct a major campaign ahead of the referendum to convince voters to vote against “LGBTQ propaganda.”