Hungarian Rights Groups Urge Invalid Votes to Defeat Orban’s LGBTQ Referendum

Hungarian human rights groups have urged voters to spoil their ballots to defeat a government referendum on LGBTQ issues occurring alongside a national election and said that its approval would strengthen prejudice against the LGBTQ community on Sunday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has proposed a referendum on ruling party legislation limiting schools’ teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues.

The referendum is seen as a retaliation to the European Commission, which initiated legal action against Budapest over the law passed last year that prohibits the use of materials seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change at schools, ostensibly as a measure to prevent child abuse.

Orban, who has strived to promote social policies that he said protect Christian values from Western liberalism, put gender issues and what he calls LGBTQ propaganda in schools at the forefront of his campaign.

Although Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine has since gained center stage in the run-up to the April 3 election, the referendum remains a crucial plank of Orban’s policies aimed at motivating his Fidesz party voters.

“We are united and therefore we will also win the referendum with which we will stop at our borders the gender madness sweeping across the Western world,” Orban said in a rally on March 15.

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