Hungary’s vile LGBT+ propaganda referendum fails as despot Orbán wins fourth term
As Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán secured a fourth term, his referendum deciding the fate of LGBT+ rights stalled.
In Sunday’s (3 April) general election, Orbán’s right-wing Fidesz party won 53.1 per cent of votes (with 98 percent counted), crushing a six-party opposition bloc that united in an attempt to end his autocratic rule.
It was a disappointment for the LGBT+ community: Orbán’s rule has been increasingly been defined by attacks on rule of law, democracy and human rights, including multiple assaults on LGBT+ and women’s rights.
While Orbán was victorious in the election, a government referendum attacking LGBT-inclusive education failed on the same night.
The referendum asked voters for their views on proposed legislation to limit schools teaching about LGBT+ topics and identities following Orbán’s so-called “LGBT+ propaganda” law.
It featured four loaded questions that gauged whether the public supported the “showing of sex-change media content to minors”, among other questions on sex education programs in schools.
Orbán’s administration had urged the public to say “no” to such questions, and nine in 10 Hungarians voted in line with the government’s anti-LGBT+ campaign.
However, the poll failed to attract enough voters to make it legally binding. According to the National Election Office, just 3.5 million of Hungary’s eight million registered voters took part – half of eligible voters needed to turn out for the poll to be binding.
More than 1.5 million votes, or 20 per cent, were invalid. A campaign run by human rights groups including Amnesty International Hungary and Budapest Pride had encouraged Hungarians to cast invalid votes by crossing both “yes” and “no” for each question.
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