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Hungary's Minister for Family: ‘Rejecting Family Values and Promoting Immigration Go Hand in Hand’

By A. Kim | February 4, 2021 | 11:27am EST

 

Katalina Novak, Hungary's Minister for Family Affairs.
Katalin Novak, Hungary's Minister for Family Affairs.

Katalin Novak, Hungary’s Minister for Family and Youth Affairs, said societies pursuing low fertility and arbitrary “families,” not the traditional nuclear family -- dad, mom, and kids – are “condemned to death.” She added that, “rejecting family values and promoting immigration go hand in hand.”

“The left does not believe in the role of nation and nation states or identity,” Minister Novak said in an interview with the Portuguese website Dies Irae, and translated into English by journalist Marco Tosatti. “They wish to replace traditional values and identity with a new identity, stripped of heritage. We have seen several attempts at this in history.”

“Rejecting family values and promoting immigration go hand in hand,” she said. “If family, childbearing, and common heritage have no value, then illegal immigrants do not pose any risk and mass immigration is just a matter of numbers required on the labor market.”

Prime Minster Viktor Orban, center, and Minister Kataline Novak.
Prime Minster Viktor Orban, center, and Minister Katalin Novak.

“Healthy families are no longer necessary because reproduction is of no importance and immigration can solve demographics,” said Novak.  “It is a very materialistic view and we do not share this view.”

“If families and reproduction are no longer connected, then family, marriage and sexuality can be whatever you want it to be and are merely a matter of fashion and ideology,” she added.

Novak continued, “In Hungary, we believe our culture and heritage are worth protecting and transmitting to future generations, so we focus on building a society where marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman, where families are defined by marriage or parent-child relation, and society values children and rewards childbearing.”

(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

“That is why we have been building a family-friendly country since 2010,” she said.  “The goal is to enable young couples to realize their family goals on one hand, and on the other, to strengthen families already raising children. We have built up the most extensive family benefit system in the Western world. [Our] central budget allocated to support families is two-and-a-half times higher than it was in 2010 and it amounts to 5% of the total GDP.”

“We have a family-friendly tax system that means that the more children you have, the less personal income tax you have to pay,” said Novak.  “Mothers with at least four children are exempt from paying personal income tax for the rest of their lives. … In Hungary, mothers or fathers may choose to stay at home and receive a benefit until the child reaches 3 years of age. They will also receive the benefit if they return to the labour market.”

“Thanks to a new law, women will soon earn more than their net income after giving birth,” said the minister.  “Good news is that the results are encouraging: fertility rate has increased by more than 20%, number of marriages is at a 40-year high, the number of divorces is at a six-decades low.”

In other remarks, Novak spoke about the importance of religion, which she believes undergirds the entirety of her nation.

“Hungarian statehood is deeply intertwined with Christianity,” she said, “even Hungarians who do not believe in God understand and recognize the deep connection between Christian identity, Hungarian identity, and Hungarian statehood.” 

  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

To that end, she emphasized a need to maintain Judeo-Christian values via the preservation of the family.

Because families “are the fabric of our society, if we undo this fabric, our societies as a whole will come apart,” the secretary remarked. “It is in the interest of society and therefore the duty of the state to help and defend families. A society where people do not want to have children, do not believe it is worthwhile to reproduce, is condemned to death.”

Moreover, traditional views of family affect gender-related and LGBTQ+ policy in Hungary. The country does not allow same-sex marriage and approved a law in December prohibiting adoption by gay couples.

“If families and reproduction are no longer connected, then family, marriage and sexuality can be whatever you want it to be, and are merely a matter of fashion and ideology,” Novak said in the interview.

Migrants are arrested by Hungarian Police officers near the village of Asotthalom near the Hungarian-Serbian border on September 17, 2015 after Hungary closed its borders in an effort to stem the wave of refugees entering the country. (Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)
Migrants are arrested by Hungarian Police officers near the village of Asotthalom near the Hungarian-Serbian border on September 17, 2015 after Hungary closed its borders in an effort to stem the wave of refugees entering the country. (Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)


The issue of gender transition has also become an issue in Hungary, especially in light of actions such as Portugal’s approval of legal gender change for people 16 and up and, more recently, President Joe Biden’s executive order banning any discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Biden also has ordered all schools that receive federal funds to allow transgender “women” (biological males) to play in women’s sports.

When asked about Portugal’s new law, Novak expressed concern. “There is a saying in Hungary for somebody who is completely lost -- does not even know if he is a boy or she is a girl. This also results that, for a child, one of the main points of security is his/her sex.”

“The mental and physical development of children is a very fragile thing,” and “teenagers are especially vulnerable to influence,” said Novak, making it clear that Hungary does not intend to allow gender change as is now practiced in Portugal.

A picture taken on February 7, 2018 in downtown Budapest shows the silhouettes of churches towers.  (Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture taken on February 7, 2018 in downtown Budapest shows the silhouettes of churches towers. (Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Hungary faces scrutiny from the international community for these controversial gender and family policies, especially by rights groups.

“These discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities,” wrote a representative from Amnesty International. The executive director at Transgender Europe announced, “we are deeply concerned for the health and safety of trans children and adults in Hungary in such a hostile climate.”

In response to such criticism, Novak said, “if we are attacked by the left, it must mean that we are not pursuing leftist ideologies but conservative values. This is what we were elected to do.”

“You must defend the truth and this is a fight worth fighting,” she said. “No one else will do it for you.”

Novak is the Hungary’s Minister for Family Affairs. Prior to this, she served for six years as the Secretary of State for Family and Youth Affairs. She also is the vice president of Fidesz (Hungarian Civic Alliance), the ruling political party in Hungary, headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Fidesz is a conservative political party that supports strong borders, a strong national defense, and Christian morals.

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