Originalism as God intended
February 10, 2024 4:10 AM   Subscribe

Hungarian Bookstore Evades Fine Due To Missing Comma In LGBTQ Law.

A longer article from the Hungarian press has the following quote from the court judgement. The judge explicitly played on the phrase "Love is love" in the ruling:
“A comma is a comma. The rules of the Hungarian language are at least as widely known as the laws governing the legislation about legal relations of society. There was no doubt in the court's mind as to the meaning of the sentence in question, and no alternative interpretation could be found.”
According to an earlier piece on the case (ony in hungarian, sorry), the lawyers of the defence team read the law at least 200 times in preparation. The error was found when one editor from the publishing house also read the law. (Lira is a chain of bookshops and a publisher as well)
posted by kmt (7 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
The new Hungarian government's rules also applied to any film showing LGBT content in any form. A few weeks ago we went to see Taika Watiti's "Next Goal Wins" at an arthouse theater in Budapest. The film was rated to exclude viewers under the age of 18 due to the fact that one character is a polynesian traditional faʻafafine trans football player. Needless to say the theater ignored the ruling and a large part of the audience were families with children. It was one of the tamest family comedies of the year.

Hungarians - at least before 1990 - were unique in their acceptance and tolerance of LGBT people. Orban adopted the anti-gay / trans stance in deference to his ally, Vladimir Putin, as part of a package of "culture war" issues.
posted by zaelic at 5:00 AM on February 10 [27 favorites]

I have a friend who used to work for the publishing house that put out Heartstopper in Hungarian. He and his husband left the country ten years ago and while the judicial ruling gave him a lot of joy, it just confirmed that living abroad is the right choice for them.

But at least for right now history is repeating as a farce.
posted by Kattullus at 5:50 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]

"found when one editor from the publishing house also read the law"
Hot damn, that's great. So many of us work in silos: sufficiently expert in whatever field we've been trained but ignorant of the norms and conventions of other magisteria. Bring on the renaissance copy-editors! And on the mention of God: I'm the only scientist I know who won The Junior Scripture Prize at school.
posted by BobTheScientist at 5:56 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]

I still have an outside chance at Hungarian citizenship, as a trans woman, I'm not sure if I want to try and pursue that right now. It's always nice to hear about people there fighting the good fight.
posted by Audreynachrome at 6:18 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]

... the vital work of protecting children from propaganda, of gay kissing, and of transitioning.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 7:05 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]

the vital work of protecting children from propaganda, of gay kissing, and of transitioning . . .

"Oh yes! We must protect the children," said the conservative Hungarian President, as she was forced to resign today for pardoning a man convicted of covering up sexual abuse in a children's home.
posted by The Bellman at 10:37 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]

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