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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2023

Beyond Radical Right Politics: LGBTQ+ Rights in Hungary and Romania

From the book Digging Politics

  • Radu Cinpoeș


With the growth of support for populist and radical right movements in Europe, one area that sets apart East-Central Europe from the rest of the continent is the attitude towards LGBTQ+ rights. This area has become a battleground, with political parties as well as grassroot movements pushing back against the (often unconvincing) progress that has been made towards articulating legal frameworks guaranteeing equality and protection for sexual orientation minorities. Within this context, the purpose of this chapter is to look comparatively at the debates concerning constitutional provisions relative to same sex marriage in Hungary and Romania. Despite different current provisions and different political landscapes in the two countries, there are clear similarities in terms of the direction of the process and of the mechanisms that inform it. This refers in particular to the use of narratives about the past that articulate a particular cultural and national identity. In both cases, the chapter identifies a mythologized version of history and claims that this history is deeply rooted into the Christian tradition as a key marker of what is regarded within populist and right-wing camps as cultural and national distinctiveness. Secondly, it aims to investigate the role of populist and right-wing actors in shaping public debate and policy agenda. Finally, it aims to suggest that these trends go beyond the populist and radical right politics (while influenced by them) and need to be understood in terms of a much broader cultural ‘turn’ encompassing alongside human-rights backlash, other dimensions such as posttruth and post-secular discourses, illiberal articulations of democracy, etc.

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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