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Hungarian court rules in favour of newspaper that likened LGBTQ group to paedophiles

It's the latest in a rise in anti-LGBTQ sentiment in Hungary.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: The Hungarian Parliament Building, by Pixabay 

A court in the Hungarian capital, Budapest has ruled that an article published by a pro-government paper likening a lesbian group to paedophilia was not damaging to the group’s reputation.

The decision of the Metropolitan Judgment Board regarding the Labrisz Lesbian Association on Tuesday (1 February) follows a court making the opposite decision three months ago. 

Labrisz published the book Wonderland is for Everyone, which features queer fairy tales including a doe wanting to become a buck and a prince marrying another prince. Last year the publishers were ordered to put a disclaimer on LGBTQ content. 

“It is not true”

The judgement referred to comments by Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orbán, that had compared homosexuality to paedophilia and as justification as well as saying that the article in the Hungarian Nation has used scientific evidence to justify the comparison, according to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Dorottya Rédai, who spearheaded Wonderland is for Everyone says of the ruling, “Today’s court ruling excuses and encourages this [comparison of homosexuality and paedophilia] vile, manipulative lie and these perpetrators. It is not true that the gay and transphobic referendum and political campaign are to protect our children. 

“Children must be protected from the very kind of abuse and exclusion that hateful and irresponsible politicians who are acting in their defense represent.”

Rédai refers to the referendum that is scheduled to take place on 3 April on LGBTQ rights, which is taking place on the same day as Hungary’s next elections. As per Reuters, the referendum will ask people if they support workshops focusing on LGBTQ issues being held in schools. 

Tuesday’s ruling is the latest in a rise in anti-LGBTQ sentiment in Hungary. Last year, the country introduced a ban on LGBTQ-related content for those under 18, which is like Margaret Thatcher’s Section 28 legislation. 

That legislation was ruled as violating international human rights standards by EU legal experts.

The Attitude February issue is out now. Get your copy here