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Fidesz: Child protection referendum ‘pre-emptive strike against gender ideology’

Hungary's spring referendum on child protection is aimed at creating consensus on the issue and could serve as a "pre-emptive strike against gender ideology", according to the communications director of ruling Fidesz.

Istvan Hollik told a conference on Wednesday that Hungary was the first country in Europe to hold a referendum on child protection, calling it a critical national issue.

He said that just as it was now “impossible to expel immigrants from western Europe”, if those pushing “gender propaganda” were given rights, “it’s nigh on impossible to take away acquired rights.”

Hollik said that while the left has called “gender propaganda” a contrived issue, they had made it clear that if they formed the next government, they would let LGBTQ activists into schools and kindergartens.

Robert Repassy, a state secretary at the justice ministry, said the referendum could also serve as a guideline for improving and strengthening Hungary’s existing child protection laws.

The government attaches great importance to child protection and fighting child sexual abuse, he said, adding that they acknowledged that parents had the exclusive right to decide how to educate their children on issues as sensitive as sexuality.

Hungary’s child protection law is solely about the education and protection of children and is in no way aimed at discriminating against anyone, Repassy said, adding that the law did not apply to adults.

Because Hungary’s constitution prohibits all forms of discrimination, the country protects human rights at the highest possible level, he argued.

Fidesz MEP Livia Jaroka, in a video message, said any attempt to deny parents their right to raise their children as they wish should be spoken against.

Tunde Furesz, head of the Hungarian Kopp Maria Institute for Population Growth and Families (KINCS), cited fresh studies showing that Hungary was a “child and family friendly country”.

Citing a European survey, she said just one percent of Hungarians believed that it was possible to live a good life without children compared with the European average of five percent.

Furesz said Hungarian studies indicated that 83 percent of the population considers child protection a key issue, and 86 percent believe schools should put greater emphasis on preparing children to live family lives.

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