After Poland, Hungary also has the first LGBTQ-free zone

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The city council of the Hungarian city of Nagykáta has decided to ban the ‘spread of LGBTQ propaganda’. The decision came in response to the publication of a children’s storybook A fairytale island for everyone, which also features heroes from the LGBTQ community.

The first ‘LGBTQ-free zone’ was approved in Hungary. So-called ‘LGBT-free zones’ are cities without LGBT, transgender or queer people and in Poland already account for a third of the country. In those zones, equality marches, such as gay pride, are prohibited. They also oppose the discussion of lgbtq issues in school.

After the decision to make the Hungarian city of Nagykáta a ‘LGBT-free zone’, Ákos Szabó of the party Független Kisgazda (Party of Independent Small Farmers) said: ‘Being LGBTQ is a chosen orientation.’ Homophobic statements are not new in Hungary: in recent years and months, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made several decisions to limit the freedom of the LGBT community. For example, earlier this year in May, the Hungarian parliament passed a law that makes it impossible for trans and intersex people to undergo legal sex surgery.

In response to the Polish situation, the European Commission has for the first time proposed a strategy for LGBTQ equality. “We are seeing troubling trends,” said Vice President Vera Jourova, referring to attacks during Pride parades and the declaration of LGBTQ-free zones in Polish municipalities. The Hungarian government is preparing a constitutional amendment that will allow adoption only by married couples, whereby “the mother is a woman, the father is a man.” Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks of an ideology imposed by Western Europe, but Jourova dismissed that: “This is not about ideology, but about love and the protection of EU citizens.” Next year, the Commission will propose to expand the list of EU crimes to include hate speech, such as homophobic language. The problem is that the Member States have to unanimously agree to this.

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