On Tuesday, journalist Andy Ngo sat down with Balazs Orban, a Fidesz MP and political director for Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, to discuss the nation’s hardline stance against medical transitions for minors and “gender propaganda” in schools.
The vast majority of Hungarians made it clear via referendums that such things should not be made available to the country’s children, a move which angered the European Commission to such an extent that they decided to take Hungary to court.
Ngo began by highlighting the fact that in many western nations, but especially in the United States and Britain, the issue of transgender children is “at the forefront of the culture wars,” with conservatives calling for an end to the practice of medically transitioning minors.
“Does Hungary have any issues related to the phenomenon of children transitioning?” Ngo asked.
“Just a couple years ago we realized that something similar is happening in western Europe and the United States,” Orban replied, “but until this moment it was quite an unknown issue in Hungary.” He pointed out, for example, that there is no word for gender in Hungarian.
“Immediately we relaized that this kind of LGBTQ propaganda is affecting our children,” he continued. “It can cause serious problems.”
Orban went on to explain that at the time, Hungary was under pressure from international organizations and the European Union to accept the orthodox liberal viewpoint on the subject, but instead of caving to their demands, opted to hold a referendum to let the people decide.
“With overwhelming majority,” he stated, “they made the decision that they said no to gender propaganda for minors in schools, especially without the consent of parents, and they said no to gender treatments for minors.”
He noted that hospitals in Hungary, by law, cannot perform such surgeries on children, reiterating that this was not the will of politicians, but of the people.
“Why do you use the word propaganda to describe the LGBTQ media, lobbying groups?” Ngo asked.
“It’s based on an ideology,” Orban replied, citing BLM, cancel culture, and critical race theory as well as gender issues as part of a “neomarxist ideology … where you only can think in one direction.”
He highlighted the fact that back when Hungary was under communist rule, the freedom of the family was constantly under threat, and that many saw parallels with woke culture encroaching on the country in the 21st century.
Orban noted that under Hungarian law, LGBTQ adults are free to live as they please, emphasizing that the issue at hand is what happens to children when they are exposed to such ideas against the will of parents.
Ngo pressed Orban on the fact that while Hungarian children may be shielded from LGBTQ ideology at school, they are using social media and will thus inevitably be exposed to it.
Orban referred to the situation as a “cultural cold war,” and assured Ngo that Hungarian parents are on the front lines and have the support of the government.
“I think the society, at the end of the day, will turn back from this dead end street,” he said.
Orban added that the legal fight with the European Commission will not be easy, but that Hungary is prepared to fight for its right to choose a different direction than the rest of the European Union.
“We just have to somehow manage the peaceful coexistence … and instead of fighting against each other over these ideologically motivated issues, we should focus on the other issues.”