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Hungary's Decree Sets Terms Of New Anti-LGBT Legislation

Demonstrators rally in Budapest in July to support the LGBT community following the passage of new legislation that they say is discriminatory.
Demonstrators rally in Budapest in July to support the LGBT community following the passage of new legislation that they say is discriminatory.

The Hungarian government’s controversial anti-LGBT law, passed in June, will apply near churches as well as schools, according to a new official decree.

The NATO member country's so-called Anti-Pedophilia Act was originally aimed at enhancing penalties for child abuse, but amendments have been added banning the "promotion of homosexuality" or gender reassignment to minors.

The latest decree will go into effect in 30 days, the government said late on August 6.

Amnesty International’s Hungarian office in reaction to the latest announcement insisted on August 7 that the law will "fail sooner or later."

"In the meantime, it is the responsibility of all of us not to give in to the government's vile incitement to hatred," the group said in a statement.

Following passage of the law, thousands of people joined the annual Budapest Pride march on July 24 in a show of support for the LGBT community and to protest the legislation.

The law, which came into force last month, has become a target of Europe’s LGBT community and their allies, putting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s conservative government again at odds with Brussels.

The European Commission called the law a “disgrace” and has launched legal action against Budapest over the legislation, saying it is discriminatory and contravenes European values of tolerance and individual freedom.

The law regulates the "display or portrayal" of products that "express homosexuality" or represent a "deviation from the identity corresponding to the sex at birth."

The government also said in its latest announcement that shops will be banned from selling such products within 200 meters of churches, schools, and child protection institutions.

Orban’s nationalist Fidesz party says the LGBT-related measures aim to protect children and families and do not target adult homosexuals.

Critics say Orban's targeting of the LGBT community, like his earlier moves against immigrants, is an effort to shore up his socially conservative base ahead of an election next year.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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