lhbti+ protests in hungary
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'Support LGBT movement in Central and Eastern Europe'

Support the LGBT movement in Central and Eastern Europe. That call to the government is made by the House of Representatives in a motion by Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66) that was adopted on Nov. 23. The COC had urged this.

In October, COC wrote a letter to the Lower House calling for support for the LGBT movement in countries such as Hungary, Poland and Russia. Ten political parties also promised in COC's Rainbow Agreement that Dutch support would go to this region.

That support for the local movement is badly needed. Hungary passed a notoriously anti-LHBTI law last summer, despite worldwide protests from the COC and others. Since 2020, Hungary has also had a law in place that makes it impossible for transgender and intersex people to change their gender registration. A constitutional amendment also makes adoption by same-sex couples impossible. Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán and his government are contributing to a dangerous climate with stigmatizing statements about LGBT persons.

Poland also has ministers from the ruling PiS party actively contributing to an anti-LHBTI climate. For example, the president stated that LGBT persons "are not people, but an ideology" and that this ideology is more dangerous than communism. About 100 Polish municipalities declared themselves to be LGBT-free zones, and legislation is in the works to ban adoption by same-sex couples.

In Eastern Europe, the situation of LGBT people has been deteriorating for some time. In Russia, an anti-LHBTI law has been in effect since 2013 and is in full force. Violence and discrimination against the LGBT community has been rising sharply since then. In the Russian republic of Chechnya, more than 100 gay men have been imprisoned, tortured or murdered in recent years. Developments in Russia are having a negative effect in surrounding countries, including Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

With the Shoerdsma motion, the House calls on the government to use resources from the Human Rights Fund to promote the human rights of LGBT persons and women in these regions. According to the motion, both the rights of LGBT persons and women in the regions are under severe pressure. Only ChristenUnie, SGP, Omtzigt, JA21, BBB, PVV, FVD and Group Van Haga voted against the motion.

COC calls on the government to swiftly implement the Chamber's call, and support the LGBT movement in Central and Eastern Europe.

Source: COC NL - Photos Geert van Tol