Romani Rose, chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, returns Hungarian honors to protest anti-LGBT law
The chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose, has returned his prestigious Hungarian state honors to protest a controversial amendment banning education about sexual minorities in Hungarian schools, among other matters. During their June summit, the leaders of other European Union countries objected to the amendment, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán rejects all criticism of it.
"The adoption of the Hungarian law on information restrictions about homosexuality and transsexuality is the crossing of a red line for me. I feel bound by my conscience to respond and, as a sign of my disagreement, I am returning the commendations previously awarded to me," Rose said.
In his statement, Rose also called on others to defend democratic values in the EU. He was personally awarded the Hungarian Order of Merit by Orbán in 2012.
Rose said he had wanted to return the decoration to the Hungarian Ambassador to Germany in person, but the official reportedly refused to receive it, so the award has therefore been returned to Budapest by post. The criticized amendment has been added to a law regulating the criminalization and prosecution of the sexual abuse of minors.
The amendment also includes appendices banning the depiction of any sexual orientation other than hetersexuality as well as the depiction of sex change not just in the curriculum of schools, but also in advertisements and films targeting persons below the age of 18. According to the government, the aim of the ban is the achievement of "the healthy mental and physical development of children".
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