Hungarian PM calls for referendum on LGBT law | Canberra weather

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The Hungarian government wants to hold a referendum in an attempt to show public support for a new law which the European Union says discriminates against LGBT people. The government says the law is meant to protect children, but many have criticized it as an attack on LGBT rights. In a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the referendum was necessary to counter strong opposition to the EU measures which he said had “abused his power” by launching a lawsuit against Hungary about the law. “Brussels has clearly attacked Hungary in recent weeks because of its child protection law,” Orban said. “When the pressure against our homeland is so strong, only the common will of the people can defend Hungary.” Orban has remained defiant on the matter, even though it has come under intense scrutiny at home and abroad due to a democratic setback and allegations of espionage. The law passed last month by the Hungarian parliament bans the portrayal of homosexuality or gender reassignment by minors in school curricula and media content. His stint sparked a heated confrontation between Orban’s government and the EU-27, which argued it discriminates against LGBT people and violates the bloc’s core values. The referendum, Orban said, will have five questions. They will cover issues such as whether children should be introduced to sexual orientation topics in schools and whether gender reassignment should be promoted or portrayed to children. He will also ask if gender reassignment procedures should be made available to minors, he said, and urged Hungarians to vote “no” on each of the questions. The referendum announcement comes as Orban, a frequent critic of the EU, faces intense pressure on several fronts ahead of next spring’s elections which are expected to be the closest since coming to power in 2010. His government is currently under fire for allegations. by an international investigation released last weekend that it used malware to spy on critical journalists, politicians and businessmen through their smartphones. Associated Australian Press


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