By Zoltán Kovács | Hungary has garnered much recognition for our pro-family policies. Aside from these policies and tangible financial support offered to families, which have resulted in a growing number of marriages and births, we have also adopted a number of provisions in the interest of protecting children.
Every child has the right to the protection and care necessary for his or her proper physical, mental and moral development – this is set out in Hungary’s Fundamental Law. The ninth amendment to the Hungarian constitution, adopted last December, ensures a child’s right to be identified according to his or her biological gender at birth and an upbringing based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.
And now, a new law, passed yesterday by the National Assembly, will further strengthen the protection of children: The Hungarian penal code will become stricter in the case of sexual offenders, with penalties increasing and no statute of limitation for the most serious crimes. Moreover, a register of pedophile offenders will be created to help prevent them from working in jobs where they would meet children. In light of recent criticism from opposition voices, one can only hope this is not at all unacceptable.
The law also prohibits homosexuality and gender reassignment to be displayed or promoted to minors and allows only registered NGOs to provide information on these subjects. Yes, we think this is necessary to protect children in their sexual development. We also believe that certain content should only be introduced at a suitable age in the interest of children’s healthy psychological and mental development.
The bill actually serves to amend an earlier law (Act XLVIII of 2008 on the Basic Requirements of and Certain Restrictions on Commercial Advertising Activities), which already prohibited the display to minors of advertising that depicts sexuality for its own sake or popularizes deviation from gender identity assigned at birth, gender alteration or homosexuality. So, there’s really nothing new: We are simply increasing the protection of a vulnerable group — something the opposition seeks to hinder.
Instead of fighting the battles of gender ideology, we are focused on the important things: the protection and healthy development of children in Hungary and preserving the right of parents to educate their kids on these sensitive matters.
Zoltán Kovács is Secretary of State for International Communication and Relations of Hungary.