Budapest, Hungary – On Wednesday, current speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly László Kövér sparked outrage after comparing same-sex couples wanting to adopt a children to pedophiles.
“No moral difference” between pedophiles and adopting gay couples
During a forum held in Budapest on Wednesday as part of the campaign for this month’s European elections, László Kövér, the speaker of the Hungarian lower house of Parliament and founding member of the ruling Fidesz party, claimed that “normal homosexuals” try to adapt to the order of the world “and don’t consider themselves equal”
He also argued that “there is no difference morally in the behavior of a pedophile and homosexuals who want to adopt. In both cases, the child is an object, an item of luxury, the tool used for self-realization and fulfillment”.
M. Kövér, who also briefly served as acting President of Hungary in 2012, was answering a question from the audience on “How can Christian culture be preserved in a world where liberalism is creeping into all areas of human life?”. This “sneaking liberalism” has now become the “bloody reality”, according to M. Kövér, who then went on to joke about parents refusing to assign a gender to their child or on countries scrapping gender references from the language.
Outrage from the opposition and civil rights groups
His remarks and parallel between pedophiles and adopting homosexual couples sparked outrage among opposition politicians and LGBT rights activists. “He should be ashamed”, said Timea Szabo from the centre-left party Dialogue for Hungary, while prominent opposition MP Bernadett Szel said this showed Fidesz had no more “inhibitions”.
The Hungarian LGBT alliance, the main LGBT rights organization in the country, described his comments as “dangerous” and thanked László Kövér “for reminding us about the fact that those who believe that all people are equal can never rest”.
The Democratic Coalition (DK) party said that he “seems to think and talk like a Nazi. He is not just an idiot, he is a dangerous political crook”.
During his weekly press conference on Thursday, Viktor Orban’s chief of staff gave his own dubious interpretation of the Hungarian Parliament speaker’s comments, as Index reports: “I can only find a parallel in one aspect: in both cases [pedophilia and adoption by LGBT couples], the interests of the child remain in the background, and the focus is on the interests of the adopters who are, by the way, incapable of having a child of their own”.
Viktor Orban’s Fidesz taps into deeply-rooted homophobic culture
In Hungary, where the constitution defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, same-sex marriage and adoption by homosexual couples aren’t legal. For many years, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his conservative Fidesz party have advocated the defense of traditional family values against the rise of what it describes as leftist, dangerous and imported values that threaten the country’s Christian roots – including LGBT rights.
As the Hungarian Spectrum points out, László Kövér’s comments are from from an isolated incident, and reflect deeply-entrenched homophobic views within the ruling party: “Fidesz, as a party committed to a far-right ideology, is steeped in homophobic culture, which it shared with other like-minded parties in Russia and Poland” – recently, Poland’s de-facto leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski described LGBT rights as a foreign import that threatens Polish identity.