The referendum is seen as an outright response from the Hungarian government to these criticisms. The vote will take place on April 3, the same day as the country’s general parliamentary elections.
Right-wing populist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban argued that the law was not intended to violate LGBTQ rights, but to preserve the right of parents to choose how to educate their children.
Orban described a five-question referendum vote that will ask the public if they support the “promotion” of content related to sexual orientation to children and urge the public to vote “no.”
When launching the lawsuit against Hungary in July, the European Commission said Budapest had “failed to explain why exposing children to LGBTIQ content as such would be detrimental to their well-being or not in the best interests of the child. ”
In July, when Orban first proposed a referendum on the law, he referred to a 2016 vote in which Hungary rejected the EU’s refugee resettlement plan but did not failed to meet a voter turnout threshold, making the referendum non-legally binding.
“Then a referendum and the common will of the people stopped Brussels,” he said. “We have already succeeded once and together we will succeed again.”