Krisztian Rozsa, a psychologist and board member with the Foundation for Rainbow Families, told the New York Times he was worried the bill could increase bullying among young people against those not perceived as heterosexual and affect children raised by same-sex couples.
Other observers placed the bill in the context of the upcoming 2022 elections, where Orban and Fidesz could face challenges.
Some European leaders have objected to the law. European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli warned that the European Union could withhold funding over the law, Reuters reports.
Dunja Mijatovic, the commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, had asked that the legislation be rejected, criticizing measures she said “limit human rights or stigmatize ... some members of society.” She argued that international human rights groups have established that young people have a right to comprehensive sex education, including discussion of LGBT issues. The proposals “run counter to international and European human rights standards,” she said.
A coalition of LGBT groups called Budapest Pride on July 10 had asked U.S. LGBT groups, political leaders and government officials to “call out” President Joe Biden to raise the issue of the law at meetings with NATO and EU leaders on July 14 and July 15, respectively, BBC News reports.
While Biden is a professed Catholic who attends Mass and makes his faith part of his public identity, he was the first sitting U.S. vice-president to endorse gay marriage and has officiated at same-sex ceremonies. He is backing a strict LGBT anti-discrimination Equality Act that would strip religious freedom protections.
The U.S. Embassy to Hungary, which had praised the Budapest Pride evet in an August 2020 statement, was critical of the law.
“The United States stands for the idea that governments should promote freedom of expression and protect human rights, including the rights of members of the LGBTQI+ community,” the embassy said.
Russia and Poland have also passed legislation limiting LGBT advocacy, and the issue has become a point of contention in relations with Western Europe and the United States, which have taken a strong pro-LGBT turn in recent decades.
Budapest Pride objected that the law will “put a de facto ban on LGBTQ educational programs in schools,” ban LGBTQ-themed media content, products and television advertising.
Budapest Pride also objected to “inflammatory sentences” added to the Hungarian Constitution such as “The father is a man, the mother is a woman,” “every child has a right to receive Christian upbringing,” and “every child has a right to live according to their sex at birth.”
The Hungarian constitution recognizes the family and the nation as “the principal framework of our coexistence” and declares “our fundamental cohesive values are fidelity, faith, and love.”
“Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman established by voluntary decision, and the family as the basis of the nation’s survival,” it said.
The United States decriminalized same-sex sex acts nationwide in the early 2000s, when the Supreme Court struck down a rarely enforced Texas anti-sodomy law. However, LGBT issues have become dominant in many aspects of American culture, religion, business, and law, with marriage being redefined to recognize same-sex couples in a 2015 Supreme Court decision.
Increasing stigma in the U.S. against Christians and others who do not accept or recognize same-sex relationships has raised questions about American commitments to religious freedom and a place for traditional religion in society.