Homophobia is on the rise in Hungary

According to a new survey by the Eurobarometer, most Hungarians are extremely dismissive of LBGTI people, and the rate has greatly increased over the last few years. This attitude is consistent across most issues connected with LGBTI rights, and it is in line with Fidesz's policy.

Budapest Pride in 2015 (photo: Justin van Dycke/Flickr CC BY 2.0 )

The proportion of those who feel uncomfortable when two gay men publicly express their emotions, hold hands or kiss each other has increased the most in Hungary among the EU member states. Since 2015 the quota has increased by 13 percent, and 69 percent of Hungarian society holds this attitude – a recently published report by Eurobarometer shows.

According to the survey, the homophobic attitude of Hungarians is growing at the same time when the government led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban is opposed to same-sex marriage and in the Constitution marriage has been consolidated as the union of a man and a woman. During the summer, Fidesz deputy spokesman István Boldog called for a boycott of Coca-Cola products after the company showed gay men in an ad. Earlier on, the speaker of the Hungarian Parliament compared gay adoption to "moral pedophilia.”

Vera Jourova, Justice Commissioner of the European Union (who will be responsible for the rule of law in the next College of Commissioners), said that aversion to the LGBTI community continues to be significant across the EU, but varies widely between member states. However, acceptance has improved across the EU over the last five years. Currently, more than half of Europeans (53 per cent) say that there is widespread discrimination based on sexual orientation in their country. The Eurostat survey shows that 76 per cent of Europeans agree that homosexual, lesbian or bisexual people should have the same rights as heterosexuals. For this question 98 per cent of Swedes answered that LGBTI people should be given equal rights, while in Hungary 48 per cent believe the same. The lowest rate is in Slovakia, with 31 pe rcent.

More than half of Hungarians (55 per cent) disagree with the statement that there is nothing wrong with same-sex sexual relations, while only 24 per cent of EU citizens think the same. Same-sex marriage is rejected by 61 per cent of the Hungarian population, and by 26 per cent of people in the EU on average – the lowest rate is again that of the Swedes, with only 6 per cent. Hungarians strongly oppose the possibility to give transgender or transsexual persons an identity document that matches their gender identities. In the case of Hungary, this figure is 72 per cent, compared to 29 per cent on average in the EU, while the Spanish are the most open in this respect (8 per cent). Similarly, 77 of people in Hungary are against the provision of a third option to be provided in official documents besides man and woman.

As for the Hungarian data in general, Hungary is in the last 4 or 5 places in terms of the different same-sex issues, well below the EU average. Besides Hungary, people in the Baltic states, Romania and Bulgaria are the most likely to reject same-sex relationships or their rights. The picture is similar in accepting whether a gay, intersex or transgender person can hold an elected political office. The EU average is typically the double of the Hungarian data. To an even greater extent Hungarians feel uncomfortable when one of their colleagues turns out to be a member of the LGBTI community. Hungary is also a negative leader in the number of people who would consider it a good idea to include sexual minority knowledge in school curricula.

Available translations
Wednesday 30 October 2019


Laszlo Arato



Translation by:

Ákos Szócska | VoxEurop

Data source: Discrimination in the European Union , European Commission 2019

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