17 August 2022,   18:25
Hungary’s Orban Proposes Referendum to Push Back Against EU on LGBTQ Law

Prime Minister Viktor Orban proposed a referendum to push back against European Union pressure to change a Hungarian anti-LGBTQ law that sparked a furious reaction in the bloc, including calls to cut off the nation’s funding, writes Bloomberg.

The referendum will include five questions, including whether “small children should be exposed to limitless content that influences their sexuality” or whether “small children should be exposed to media content showing gender change,” Orban said.

Opposition parties urged Hungarians to boycott the planned plebiscite, a strategy that has undermined Orban in the past, saying the questions amounted to a bid to distract voters from the spyware scandal.

The proposed questions also appeared to skirt addressing the EU’s objections, which focus on alleged discrimination rather than child protection, which Brussels has said was crucial in all member states.

Referendum questions need to be approved by the state election board, likely a formality for Orban, who’s stacked independent institutions with loyalists. For it to be binding, at least 50% of eligible voters must cast a ballot.