Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Museum's director refuses to ban minors to visit a photo exhibition in Budapest under Orban's anti-gay propaganda law

Hungary's cultural minister fired the director of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest, accusing him of failing to comply with a contentious law that bans the display of LGBTQ content to minors.

In 2021, Prime Minister Viktor Orban passed a law against promoting homosexuality to minors, drawing criticism at home and abroad, including from the European Union.

In opinion of Hungarian's government, five photos on display at the prestigious World Press Photo exhibition at National Museum violated the law restricting children's access to content that depicts homosexuality or gender change.

The photographs in question document a community of elderly LGBTQ people in the Philippines who have shared a home for decades and cared for each other as they age. The photos show some community members dressed in drag and wearing makeup.

Hungary’s government has restricted the availability of materials that “promote” or depict homosexuality to minors in media, including television, films, advertisements and literature.

The culture ministry instructed the museum to enforce the law against promoting homosexuality and bar those below the age of 18 from the exhibition. But the museum told it cannot legally enforce the government order to ban minors from attending as it cannot ask for identity cards.

The fired director Laszlo L. Simon said he “takes note of the decision” but “cannot accept it”, stating that the museum “has not deliberately violated any law” by showing the pictures in the exhibition. “I firmly reject the idea that our children should be protected from me or from the institution I run,” he added.

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