The Hungarian government has continued its crusade to censor the LGBTQ+ community with their new anti-LGBTQ+ decree.
According to a report from Reuters, Victor Orbán’s government announced on Friday (6 August) that stores are now required to cover queer-themed children books with wrapping.
This new requirement also includes books that explores gender identity and “explicit” sexuality.
Alongside the blatant censorship, LGBTQ+ books are now banned from being available in stores located within 200 metres of schools and churches.
This isn’t the first time that the Hungarian government has enforced damaging rules on LGBTQ+ books.
Earlier this year, publishers of a children’s book called Meseorszag Mindenkie – which translates to A Fairy Tale for Everyone – were required to print a disclaimer on its pages.
The disclaimer imposed by the Hungarian Consumer Protection Authority (HCPA) said that the book sets out “behaviour inconsistent with traditional gender roles.”
The anti-LGBTQ+ hate continued when the government fined another publisher for not warning parents about a book’s LGBTQ+ content.
Hungary’s latest decree comes nearly two months after lawmakers passed legislation that bans “content promoting gender change or homosexuality” within the school curriculum.
The bill has widely been compared to Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, which was passed in 2013, that bans disseminating “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relations” among Russians.
Since being approved in June, the law has come under fire by LGBTQ+ activists and the European Commission.
MEPs called the legislation “a clear breach of the EU’s values, principles and law” and has since urged the European Commission to pursue a legal case against Orbán’s government.
459 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of the resolution, with 147 against and 58 abstaining in Strasbourg. If the case is brought to the European Court of Justice, the country could face financial penalties.
Ursula Von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, called the law “disgraceful” in a statement.
“This law uses the protection of children, to which we are all committed, as an excuse to severely discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. This law is disgraceful.”
Orbán has since doubled down on the hateful law stating that it was made to protect children. He also said that education surrounding sexuality should be in the hands of parents.
“LGBTQ+ activists visit kindergartens and schools and conduct sexual education classes. They want to do this here in Hungary as well,” he stated in a Facebook video on Wednesday (21 July).