(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Viktor Orban proposed a referendum to push back against European Union pressure to change Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ law that has sparked a furious reaction in the bloc, including calls to cut off funding to the nation.
The move suggests Orban, who next year is facing the most closely-fought parliamentary election since he returned to power in 2010, is digging in his heels in Hungary’s fight with the EU over democratic values.
“When the pressure on our homeland is so great, then only the will of the people is able to defend Hungary,” Orban said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
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.
Hungary recently outlawed media content to minors that authorities deem to “promote homosexuality,” the latest in wave of legislation targeting the LGBTQ community. Earlier, Orban’s government effectively banned adoption for same-sex couples and scrapped the right to have legal recognition of gender change.
The EU has started legal action against Hungary on the LGBTQ law and decided against authorizing the distribution of pandemic funding over concerns about judicial independence and corruption. Orban’s government has alleged the two issues are linked.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
Toronto Mayor expects economic jolt as city staff prepare office return
Former CN, CP Rail exec Mark Wallace dies
Nasdaq partners with Amazon to move market trading to the cloud next year
Most manufacturers facing more acute labour shortage than last year: survey
Cyber Monday misses estimates on short supply, weak deals
Disney+ sees Beatles bump after release of Fab Four documentary