The vote is on, today (3 April), in Hungary. It’s back to the polls in Budapest and across the country, and Viktor Orbán is running for a fourth consecutive term as prime minister.
According to reports in the international press, polls indicate that his party Fidesz “[…] has only a slight advantage over the alliance supporting challenger Peter Marki-Zay, a conservative who wants to put an end to Orbán’s ‘undemocratic power’ and bring Hungary back on ‘a European path'”. But then, the winds of war in Ukraine blew over all of that.
Along with the vote for the parliamentary elections, however, Hungary today also votes for the referendum that calls for the ratification of the law with which aims to protect children and pull a brake on LGBT+ propaganda on television, in the media in general and especially in schools. The referendum was announced in July, two weeks after the European Commission initiated proceedings charging the law passed in June.
Balázs Hidvéghi, MEP for the Fidesz party, has already explained its contents to iFamNews: “This is a package of regulations for the protection of children. It is up to parents to decide how to educate their children about sexuality in line with their beliefs. And it is up to the state to ensure that this educational priority of parents is respected.” But Budapest’s claim that the law is aimed at defending minors does not convince Brussels, which sees it as an attack on the “rights” of the LGBT+ community. “This law uses the excuse of child protection to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last summer.
The debate remains heated and it is not even certain that the result of the ballot box will be decisive. The challenger Péter Márki-Zay, conservative mayor of a small town, who left Fidesz in 2010 in protest against Orban’s line, seems to be ready, in case of victory, to annul the law passed by Orbán as he considers it “homophobic” and also to introduce same-sex “marriages” into Hungarian law. A Catholic and father of seven, Márki-Zay says he is opposed to divorce and abortion, yet he reiterates his support for the laws in Hungary that guarantee their legality.