The national referendum on “child protection” issues is expected to be voted on in Parliament on Tuesday after a proposal on the matter was submitted in the Justice Committee on Monday, writes Telex.
The proposal indicates that the budget for the national referendum is nearly 12.7 billion Ft. (US $39.4 million), regardless of how many questions appear on it.
On November 9, the Parliament decided that a referendum and Parliamentary elections could be held at the same time. With primarily pro-government support, the National Assembly voted 134-49 in favor of a bill by former Jobbik and now-independent MP János Volner that will allow the two votes to be held simultaneously.
According to Telex, Fidesz will be able to coordinate its Parliamentary election campaign with the so-called referendum on child protection, which contains gender policy positions that the news source claims were quickly thrown together following the outbreak of the Pegasus scandal in the summer.
On July 21, only a few days after the outbreak of the Pegasus scandal, Viktor Orbán announced in a Facebook video that the government would launch a referendum on five issues:
- Do you support the promotion of gender reassignment treatments for minor children?
- Do you support the display of media content showing gender reassignment to minors?
- Do you support the unrestricted depiction of sexual-themed media content to minors that affect their development?
- Do you support holding sessions on sexual orientation for minor children in public education institutions without parental consent?
- Do you support making gender reassignment treatments available for minor children?
Orbán claimed that the referendum was needed because “Brussels is demanding changes to the Education Act and rules on child protection. They are hurt that it is not possible to do to us what has already become entrenched in Western Europe,” the Prime Minister argued.
The questions in the planned referendum, although approved by the National Election Commission, were challenged in court by the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. Hungary’s High Court, the Curia, rejected the wording of the last question in the referendum, causing the government to threaten to turn to the Constitutional Court to ensure it would appear on the referendum.
However, daily Magyar Nemzet reported that the government eventually dropped the last question because it did not want to wait for the Constitutional Court to decide on the issue. Instead of the original five, it is believed that the referendum will now only contain four questions.