Hungary has just passed an archaic provision that will trample any semblance of queer rights within the country.
Viktor Orbán’s far-right majority have been trampling on the rights of LGBT people since their rise to power. His national assembly ignored a last-minute plea by Europe’s leading human rights officials by legislation that bans LGBT content in schools to all pupils under the age of 18.
Despite outright disapproval by politicians who form the opposition, the outcome was set in stone before a vote took place. In the world we live in today, it’s baffling how people have not yet learned to live and let live.
This law may seem minute, but when we take a closer look at culture and how it affects our daily lives, we see that you begin to erase subcultures within an area by denying educational opportunities to the youth. We see a clear path to cultural genocide.
Queer sexuality: Does genocide result from prejudice?
Of course, it does. We have seen it throughout history. During WW2, the Nazis rounded up members of the LGBTQ community and shipped them to concentration camps.
As I type, Poland has dedicated LGBT-free zones that undoubtedly lead to hate crimes and all-time low acceptance levels for the queer community. As of April 21, 2021, four LGBT men are murder victims in South Africa in a surge of LGBTQ hate crime.
And, for nearly five years- Chechnya, an autonomous Russian republic, is torturing, detaining, and killing gay men.
What is genocide and how does it affect queer culture?
Anti-LGBT laws are queer genocide
It is hard to see all of these in relation to Hungary’s anti-LGBT rhetoric that its parliament passed. So to help you understand how this law is detrimental to LGBTQ advancements around the world, we will look at each stage a little closer.
Classification refers to the division of populations. We see classification through divisions of racial, ethnic, and religious divisions. In Hungary’s Anti-LGBT content law, the division is evident between the elitist heterosexuals and the LGBT community.
Symbolization and oppression of queer culture
The next stage is symbolization. Symbolization is when a group is labeled and divided by name, language, type of dress, or religious symbols. Előd Novák, Hungary’s vice president, scaled a building to remove a pride flag.
When police arrived, he was not bothered by them, and he grabbed the flag before fleeing from the scene. The pride flag symbolizes our unity and his resentment of this symbol sends an alarming message.
Next is dehumanization. As this suggests, it means that society assigns labels to communities of people as sub-human. This process involves negative propaganda or campaign actions against a particular group of people.
The ban on LGBT content dehumanizes queer individuals. We are a topic deemed not worthy of being discussed at school, let alone thought about in daily affairs.
Organization refers to the planning of actions meant to suppress a community. In the case of this anti-LGBT law, the government organized the success of its approval.
We can see this in more detail through critics and their opinions of the law, which connects homosexuality and pedophilia. This rhetoric forms both this stage and a later stage of genocide called Preparation.
In the polarization stage, groups are further driven apart by extremists. This one is easy to see in all the cases mentioned in this article. The far-right government which proposed these laws are the culprits in this instance.
They are instigating a divide and driving a wedge between acceptance and social norms. Creating the divide begins with removing gay-themed literature, advertisements, and information from the youth who will be tomorrow’s future leaders.
Being LGBT becomes part of the ‘other’ – something to be feared from afar, never interacted with or seen as equal.
In Preparation, further planning takes place.
The Preparation for further movement through the stages of genocide began in Hungary when Coca-Cola released its “love is love” campaign.
The campaign shows the first noticeable action taken by the Hungarian government to limit the portrayal of LGBT culture in the media. Viktor Orbán’s government accused the ad of influencing children to become gay and removed all media promoting the campaign.
This government has been carefully crafting a narrative against the sexual minorities in Hungary for years through identity politics, defamatory rhetoric, and curbing pro-LGBT rights laws on multiple occasions.
The extermination stage is genocide.
We can’t see this stage in the genocide process in Hungary yet, but it is alarming to see that their government is meeting all other stages through far-right agenda.
Lest we forget, extermination is occurring in other parts of the world at this moment, as mentioned in the case of Chechnya. Some parts of the world have been in this stage for years.
Our job is to identify the signs of our cultural genocide so we can make a plan to prevent Hungary from arriving at this stage of genocide.
In the final stage, the perpetrators attempt to cover up their crimes. The Hungarian far-right government is already guilty of this act.
Although they have not yet begun a mass extermination process of LGBT individuals, they have hidden behind their falsified accusations that homosexuality is akin to incest and pedophilia.
Most recognizable is a quote from parliament speaker László Kövér, who compared same-sex couples’ adoption rights to pedophilia, stating:
According to him, one of the greatest’ crimes’ that LGBT people commit is assuming that they are equal to their non-queer families and friends.
Lessons from history
We learn from history that the road to genocide is a slippery slope. It is easy to follow but difficult to return from once you begin the journey down its path.
The anti-LGBT laws in Hungary are an attempt to erase queer culture and eradicate it from the world. The process is taking place across the globe, from Brazil to Russia to Uganda.
Stay safe! We live in a world that is trying to erase us. If you enjoyed this article and found it as important as we did, please share it and read more about gay politics. And as always, have a gay day!