Hungarians protest against PM Orban’s LGBTQ rights crackdown

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Thousands of Hungarians protested outside Parliament in Budapest on Monday against legislation that would ban discussions of homosexuality or gender change in schools as Prime Minister Viktor Orban prepares for contested 2022 elections. “This is horrible and inhumane,” said kindergarten assistant Dominika Pandzsa. “They are trying to strip people of all their rights. This would lock some kids in the closet, and they should be given the opportunity to come out.” Hardline nationalist Orban has grown increasingly radical in his social policy, railing against immigrants and LGBT people in his self-styled illiberal regime, which has deeply divided the central European nation. The second protest this month after more than a yearlong hiatus due to the coronavirus has shown that Orban is not without an opposition, with six parties banding together to unseat him next year. Orban’s government has redefined marriage in the constitution as the union between one man and one woman, and limited gay adoption. It also outlawed legal status for transgender people. The ruling Fidesz party tacked a proposal banning school talks on LGBTQ issues such as gender change to a widely backed separate law that strictly penalises paedophilia, making it difficult for opponents to vote against it.