Hungary's new law enables to report rainbow families to authorities

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Hungary's new law enables citizens to report same-sex parents to local authorities

The Hungarian parliament passed a bill last week, that makes it possible to anonymously report rainbow families to authorities, Bloomberg reports. According to the new law, citizens are allowed to report those who contest the “constitutionally recognized role of marriage and the family” and those who contest children’s rights “to an identity appropriate to their sex at birth.”  The new law is part of the Orban government’s efforts to protect the "Hungarian way of life."

The bill passed just a week after France and Germany joined thirteen other EU member states in a lawsuit against Hungary by the European Commission at the European Court of Justice over a 2021 discriminatory law that bans gay people from featuring in school educational materials or TV shows for minors.  

Hungary has never allowed gay marriage but recognizes civil union between same-sex couples. Until two years ago gay couples were able to adopt if one partner applied for adoption as a single person. However in 2020, Hungary’s right-wing government changed the constitution to specify a parent-child relationship: “The mother is a woman and the father is a man”, which ensures that now only heterosexual couples can adopt children. Single people could gain exemptions with special permission.

According to the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) a human rights NGO, the new law is unenforceable, because "What exactly is the Hungarian way of life? This is not clear from the law. Nor does it say how the law should be applied. The law is exclusionary and therefore unacceptable, but it is also unenforceable: no one should be concerned about being prosecuted," the NGO wrote on Facebook. TASZ says a great example in the law is the part about 'challenging the constitutionally recognized role of marriage and the family'. "Anyone who says anything about marriage and the family is still exercising their right to freedom of expression, which is protected by the Constitution."

EU says Ukraine grain ban by Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia is unacceptable

Slovakia joined Poland and Hungary as the third EU country to ban food imports from Ukraine on Monday, AP reports. The Central European countries said the measure was crucial to protect their farming sectors from cheap food imports after growing anger from farmers. The ban applies to grains, vegetables, fruit, meats, dairy products, and other food items. The measure in Hungary and Poland will expire end of June - in Slovakia, it will remain in place until further notice.

A senior official told The Guardian that the EU would expect the central European states “to come up with some explanation”. According to the EU official low global prices and demand meant large quantities of Ukrainian grain were staying in the bloc.

Bulgaria has also said it is considering a ban on Ukrainian grain.

Hungarian Foreign Minister refuses to say he wants Ukraine to win the war on BBC

BBC's Stephen Sackur interviewed Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Monday. Szijjarto called the "pressure" from the US unacceptable and refused to say he would like to see Ukraine as the winner of the war against Russia.

The Hungarian Minister went on BBC's Hard Talk to discuss Hungary's position on the Ukraine war. "We want this war to be finished, to be stopped as soon as possible because this war takes place in our neighborhood, "Hungary's first diplomas told Sackur. He stressed that a significant Hungarian minority lives on the western side of Ukraine and that they are dying in this war. "They are mobilized to the Ukrainian army and many of them are being deployed to the frontlines and many of them die," he added. Szijjarto said that Hungary wants to see an "immediate ceasefire" and a "peace agreement." Sackur repeatedly asked if he would like to see Ukraine as the winner of the war but he avoided the question and said: "it makes no sense to speak about winners because there are only losers of this war." 

Szijjarto also talked about the recent sanctions on the Russian-led IIB Bank. Imre Laszloczki a Hungarian citizen, was also named on the sanctions list.  Szijjarto called the "pressure" from the US  "unacceptable".

Orban's childhood friend helped Russian bank before US sanctions, leaked documents reveal

According to a Hungarian investigative site Direkt36, it wasn't only the Orban government that the Russian-led Budapest-based International Investment Bank ( IIB) could count on after it was abandoned by all its other European member states. Economic circles close to the government, have also helped the financial institution tremendously after the Hungarian government became its main supporter.

Documents from IIB reveal that after Hungary’s largest bank, OTP decided to close the IIB’s accounts last spring, the financial institution found refuge at MKB Bank, which is partly owned by Viktor Orban's long-time friend and Hungary's richest man Lőrinc Mészáros, and was able to open another bank account enabling it to run financial transactions.