Speaker of Hungarian Parliament: Fighting for LGBT adoption is morally equivalent to pedophilia

2019.05.17. 15:09

At a town hall forum on Tuesday, the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament László Kövér drew parallels between the right of homosexual couples to marry and adopt children and paedophilia, as Index reported on Wednesday.

László Kövér, Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament and a founding member of Fidesz held a speech at a town hall in Budapest's XIV. district on Tuesday night, and on top of the xenophobic messages that we have grown accustomed to from Fidesz, Kövér upped the ante by jumping into the deep end of far-right ideology.

Kövér unleashes his homophobia

Responding to a question from the audience asking how to preserve Christian culture in a world where liberalism is sneaking into all aspects of life, Kövér shouted: "If only it was sneaking!" Kövér went on to recite the old joke about the liberal parent being asked if their child is a boy or a girl - "It will decide when it grows up." Kövér opined that while a decade ago this was funny, today it is the "bloody reality," saying that this is becoming the law in certain countries - they abolish genders in languages (note that Hungarian does not have them in the first place) and they have three kinds of bathrooms at public institutions - one for women, one for men, and one for "...the third." 

László Kövér started discussing the fight for LGBTQ rights, saying that standing up for LGBTQ marriage and adoption by same-sex couples is equivalent to paedophilia:

"Morally there is no difference between the behaviour of a pedophile and the behaviour of someone who demands such things. In both cases, the children are treated as objects, luxury goods, mere tools for gratification, for self-realisation. I don't want to have children for various reasons, but I claim the right to raise someone else's child."

But far be it from Kövér to make sweeping generalisations, of course, he does not think all homosexuals are like that:

"A normal homosexual is aware of the order of things in the world, and knows that he was born this way, he became like this. He tries to fit into this world while he doesn't necessarily think he is equal."

Orbán's Chief of Staff joins in

Viktor Orbán's chief of staff Gergely Gulyás was asked to reflect on Kövér's statements at his weekly press conference on Thursday. Responding to the parallel drawn by the Speaker of the Parliament between pedophiles and adoptive LGBTQ couples, Gulyás said:

"I can only find a parallel in one aspect: In both cases [pedophilia and adoption by LMBTQ 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. I think this is factually correct."

Gulyás also pointed out that Kövér just voiced his opinion, but the fact is that the Hungarian legal system clearly states that same-sex couples cannot adopt children or get married, adding that one is impossible and the other is sanctioned by the penal code.

"We think that every child has a right to a father and a mother. We do not believe it is right if a child has to grow up with two fathers. I think this is selfishness from those who cannot have a child of their own."

Update at 16:45: Index has sent some questions to Viktor Orbán through the Prime Minister's press office. We've asked the Prime Minister if he agrees with the remarks made by László Kövér, and if he also believes that there are "normal homosexuals," and if he also thinks that same-sex couples adopting children and pedophilia are in any way comparable. On Friday afternoon, we have received the following statement from the Government Information Centre:

The Hungarian Government's priority is that everyone abides by the Hungarian laws in effect. The Hungarian legal system defines the family as the union of a man and a woman, and according to the Hungarian laws, same-sex couples cannot adopt children.

The definition of family mentioned by the statement was instated into the Fundamental Law of Hungary by its fourth amendment in 2013, passed by the Parliament's Fidesz supermajority only a few months after the Constitutional Court deemed the same definition too narrow and removed it from the Act on the Protection of Families.

We have since informed the Government Information Centre about our continued interest in the Prime Minister's personal views on the matter. 

"An insult to all adoptive parents"

Of course, Kövér's blatantly homophobic remarks sparked outrage in Hungary - so much in fact, that even the Hungarian branch of IKEA responded to them by posting a picture of colourful pencils arranged in a way reminiscent of Kövér's iconic bushy moustache, captioned "We believe in equality:"

In a press release issued on Thursday, the Hungarian LGBT Alliance saying it is dangerous if somebody cannot (or does not want to) differentiate between pedophilia and the desire to become a parent, and that Kövér's remarks insulted all adoptive parents. The LGBT Alliance stated that the goal of having children is to provide them with a safe, good, loving environment, while pedophilia is the opposite, it means that an adult uses the child to satisfy their deranged urges, and Kövér relativises that by saying the two are equivalent. Still, the organisation is grateful for Kövér reminding them how their work is never over:

"We hoped that the times when those in power could argue that not all people are equal are behind us. We're thanking László Kövér for reminding us about the fact that those who believe that all people are equal can never rest."

With the exception of far-right Mi Hazánk Mozgalom (Our Country Movement) and formerly far-right Jobbik, all parties of the Hungarian opposition condemned the comments of the Speaker of the Parliament one way or another. Tímea Szabó of Párbeszéd said a "normal person does not think he is superior to anybody," and said it is a shame that Kövér is Speaker of the Parliament. Green party LMP's spokesperson reminded that there are several hundred thousand Hungarian citizens living their life in what Kövér regards as a deviant manner, and despite what Kövér says, they are not second-rate citizens. Democratic Coalition (DK), the party of former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány said "László Kövér seems to think and talk like a Nazi. He is not just an idiot, he is a dangerous political crook." DK also said that from now on, they will refuse to stand up in the Parliament when the Speaker enters the chamber. Dániel Turgonyi, the leader of Momentum's LGBTQ workgroup addressed an open letter to the Speaker. Turgonyi writes: "Sadly I'm homosexual too, therefore, you are more equal than I am."

"I agree with you on one thing though. I am aware of the order of the world, and I am aware of the way I was born. But I will not agree with your view about the order of the world. Oppressing minorities or discriminating against them is no order of any world."

The organisers of the Budapest Pride march have announced that they will be protesting homophobia in the public discourse on Kossuth square at 6:30 PM on Saturday.

(Cover: László Kövér and his supporters. Photo: Ajpek Orsi / Index)

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