Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has remarked the world needs fewer drag queens and “more rangers” in a keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the US.
The right-wing Fidesz party leader gave the speech during the official opening of the Dallas conference on Thursday (4 August), where he touched upon what he called “globalist” billionaire investor George Soros, so-called “culture wars” and his own country’s handling of immigration.
“I can already see tomorrow’s headlines: far-right European racist, antisemite strongman, the Trojan horse of Putin holds a speech at the conservative conference,” Orbán remarked during his speech. “They did not want me to be here, and they made every effort to drive a wedge between us.”
He then claimed sections of the media “hate” him and his country just as they “hate you and slander you”, he said addressing the predominantly conservative American audience.
During his keynote speech, he also included a number of Hungary’s planned conservative policies, including bans on LGBTQ+ content for children and an effort to bring America and Hungary together to “unite forces” against so-called “globalists” and “progressives”.
“We must take back the institutions in Washington and in Brussels,” he told audience members. “We must coordinate the movement of our troops because we face the same challenge.”
Viktor Orbán speaks to a relatively sparse crowd. (Brandon Bell/Getty)
Viktor Orbán used a hefty portion of his segment to dig at the LGBTQ+ community, including a declaration marriage should only be the union between a man and a woman. He told the applauding audience members “[Hungarians] decided we don’t need more genders – we need more rangers. Less drag queens and more Chuck Norris!”
While worrying for the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary, his sentiments are neither surprising nor new. Since his initial election in 2010, Orbán’s rule has encompassed a campaign against queer Hungarians, including several anti-LGBTQ+ laws and even an attempted referendum aiming to attack inclusive education.
If passed, the proposed legislation would have imposed restrictions on LGBTQ+ topics and identities in schools as part of the prime minister’s so-called “LGBTQ+ propaganda law”. Orbán told Hungarians “our children’s future is at stake” and that voters could not “make concessions”.
Questions on the referendum included ‘do you support the teaching of sexual orientation to minors in public education institutions without parental consent?’ and ‘do you support the promotion of sex reassignment therapy for underage children?’. Hungary does not currently allow gender-diverse adolescents to access gender-affirming healthcare.
The vote failed on the same night Orbán secured his fourth term, on 3 April, 2022 when Fidesz won an election with 54.13 per cent of the vote including swing. Independent party Everybody’s Hungary Movement leader Péter Márki-Zay came second with 34.44 per cent of the vote including swing.
Orbán’s participation in the four-day Texas conference – which features several right-wing pundits including former president Donald Trump and Texas Republican Ted Cruz – was part of an opportunity wherein both American conservatives and Orbán himself could unite their efforts to push certain political messages.
Trump, who is to speak at the conference on Saturday (6 August), called Orbán a friend, in a statement reported by the BBC. The two were also reportedly seen at Trump’s golf club in New Jersey on Tuesday (2 August).