Hungarian Foreign Minister Dismisses 'Global Fake News' Reports on LGBT Content Ban

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto blamed "global fake news" after a new law was heavily criticized as targeting LGBT people, the Associated Press reported.

"A global fake news campaign is taking place concerning the law on the protection of children. Ninety-nine percent of those making criticisms have not read the entire law," Szijjarto said during a press conference in Luxemburg.

The law was designed to crack down on pedophilia but contains amendments that make it appear as if pedophilia and homosexuality are linked. The law banned any content with homosexuality or sex reassignment to be shared with minors.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Hungary Protest New Law
A participant holds a sign showing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban holding a scarf in rainbow colors in front of the parliament building in Budapest on June 14, 2021, during a demonstration against the Hungarian government's draft bill seeking to ban the "promotion" of homosexuality and sex changes. Gergely Besenyei/Getty Images

Human rights groups have denounced the measure, saying it could be used to stigmatize and harass residents because of their sexual orientation or gender identities, and deprive young people of essential sex education information.

Thousands have protested in Hungary's capital of Budapest against the measures.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter asked permission from UEFA, Europe's governing body for soccer, for Germany's stadium to be lit up with rainbow colors to reject homophobia and intolerance when the national team plays Hungary on Wednesday.

UEFA declined the request, saying Tuesday it understands the intention but was rejecting the move because of its political context—"a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament."

At the press conference, Szijjarto repeated earlier Hungarian government claims that the legislation is designed only to protect children from pedophiles and to ensure that only parents have the right and responsibility to education their children on matters of sexual orientation.

"The law does not discriminate against any social group, and it doesn't discriminate against the gay community either," he said.

Munich Stadium Rainbow
A new law in Hungary was designed to crack down on pedophilia but contains amendments that make it appear as if pedophilia and homosexuality are linked. Above, Munich’s stadium is illuminated in rainbow colors on the occasion of Christopher Street Day on July 9, 2016. Tobias Hase/Associated Press