The National Media and Communications Authority’s Media Council, consisting exclusively of members appointed by ruling party Fidesz, ruled in February that it was against the law to broadcast a public service advertisement featuring LGBTQ families. The media authority stated that RTL Klub had aired the Background Society’s “Family is Family” spot 11 times in December 2020 at an “inappropriate” time of day.
The Media Council felt that the short film should only be broadcast after 9:00pm, as its message of “reconciling homosexuality together with child-raising and the family may have sensitively affected those under 16, causing them misunderstanding, tension, and uncertainty.”
Following the ruling, the TV station vowed to fight the verdict, and has now won a second instance lawsuit against the anti-LGBTQ decision. The Media Council’s decision was overturned by the Metropolitan Court in April, and the Metropolitan Court of Appeal upheld the verdict on appeal on June 30.
In its reasoning, the court referred to a previous judgment by the European Court of Human Rights in another case, which determined that:
there is no scientific evidence or sociological data to suggest that mentioning homosexuality or an open public debate on the social status of sexual minorities would have an adverse affect on children.
Last summer, the Hungarian Parliament passed amendments to a law that banned children under 18 from accessing advertisements that “depict sexuality for its own purposes, or promote and display self-identification that deviates from one’s birth gender, the changing of genders, or homosexuality.”