Coke Ad Riles Hungary Conservatives, Part of Larger Gay Rights Battle


While there have been stepped-up campaigns against L.G.B.T. rights in other countries, it remains to be seen if they prove politically potent.

Same-sex marriages are legal in Scandinavia and most of western Europe, and civil unions are allowed in many other countries on the continent. But Romania, like Poland and Russia, is among a handful that do not allow either.

In October 2018 Romanian politicians organized a referendum on whether to narrow the constitutional definition of a family to a man and a woman, rather than the gender-neutral term “spouses,” which conservative groups feared could lead to legal recognition for same-sex relationships in the future.

Despite strong support from the country’s governing Social Democratic Party and the Orthodox Church, the primary response was apathy, and the referendum failed. More voters approved than disapproved, but turnout was just 20.4 percent, far below the 30 percent required for it to take effect.

In Slovakia, another nation that does not recognize gay couples, a popular magazine widely known for spreading disinformation, Zem a Vek, offered stark warning. On its cover this week, it featured a photo of guillotine, painted in rainbow colors, with the headline: “L.G.B.T. Terror.”

Prominent far-right and ultranationalist politicians regularly attack L.G.B.T. people in their speeches, including Andrej Danko, the speaker of Slovak Parliament and the leader of the Slovak National Party.

But the new Slovak President, Zuzana Caputova, won a resounding victory in March after campaigning on a platform of tolerance and support for gay rights. And the pride march in the capital, Bratislava, in July drew the largest crowd in its history, with 10,000 people filling the streets.


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