The crowd wasnt as big as last week in Budapest, but hundreds of Dutch people gathered this afternoon to protest against a law in a country 1400 kilometers away, Hungarian Szonja Zsiros is doing well. “That so many people feel the need to show their solidarity makes me happy.”
The new law against which the protest at the Homo Monument in Amsterdam regulates a ban on “gay promotion,” said Prime Minister Victor Orbán. For example, it concerns books and films with a homosexual character. Teachers are no longer allowed to discuss homosexuality with their students. According to Orbán, the goal is to “protect young people from information about homosexuality and gender reassignment”.
In Hungary itself and elsewhere in Europe, the law led to great outrage. The law is directed directly against lubtians, critics say. “The ability to see images or texts representing LGBTIs is removed,” says Szonja, who is homosexual. “Everyone who belongs to this community will feel completely alone.”
“Hungary sets the clock back years, centuries.” Activists, politicians and Lobtians spoke out against the law in Amsterdam:
Szonja is studying in the Netherlands but still has family and friends in Hungary. Under Orbán, her country has gone the wrong direction in recent years, she thinks. “The government is doing everything in their power to gain more power and control. The drug they use is the lhbti community. That is a very easy topic in Hungary, which is still quite traditional, to increase their followers.”
The Hungarian government denies that the gay community is the purpose of the law. Adults should not be restricted in determining “how to set up their lives.”
Nonsense, says Szonja. If children are not allowed to learn about homosexuality, that can have bad consequences. “Im afraid of the next generation of lhbtiers. Im worried about their well-being, their mental health. If they cant see what theyre going through is completely normal, Im really afraid the suicide rate among young people will increase.”
Szonja traveled back to her home country to participate in last weeks protest Monday. “It was very impressive to see all those young and so different people around me. But I also recognized fear of despair in their eyes. These people have no idea how this law will affect their daily lives or that of their loved ones.”
On Tuesday, the Hungarian Parliament passed the new law. The European Commission, which recently has the opportunity to cut off subsidies from governments that do not comply with European rule of law, is now looking to see if it will impose sanctions. “If the EU really stands for something, and that is tolerance and equality, they should not allow this law to pass through,” says Szonja.
Demissionary Prime Minister Mark Rutte today called the law “horrible” and “retarded” and promised to talk about it with his fellow European leaders on Thursday. But many MEPs feel that the leaders and the Commission are not hurrying enough. “The European Commission does not dare to act. How can you make laws about freedom of speech if Hungary observes such views?” , Sophie int Veld (D66) says to Nieuwsuur.
Szonja also hopes that the EU will speak more clearly and as a whole. “Its very hard for me to say as a Hungarian citizen with family and friends in that country. But if Hungary wants to limit the rights and lives of others, it shouldnt have the benefits of EU membership.”