Hungary is among the most tolerant countries towards LGBTQI people in Eastern and Central Europe, and the one with the highest standard of legal protection afforded to them in the region. Same-sex partnerships have been recognized since 1996, registered partnership granting same-sex couples rights similar to those of spouses has been in place since 2009, but same-sex marriage is not legal.
Hungary has a comprehensive equal treatment legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in various fields of life including employment, education, health and access to goods and services. Homophobic and transphobic hate speech and hate crimes are explicitly sanctioned by law. Trans people have access to gender recognition without compulsory medical treatment. Discriminatory laws, however, are still in place in the fields of parenting and public funding for gender reassignment treatments.
In spite of the relatively favourable legal situation, LGBTQI still face prejudice and discrimination in many areas of life. Most of them decide to keep their sexual orientation and gender identity secret, even to their family, friends and colleauges; there are very few out public figures in political or cultural life. Nearly every second Hungarian agrees with the statement that homosexuality is a sickness, and would rather not have a gay or lesbian neighbour.
Since 2010, Hungary has a conservative government that significantly cut back on the rights of LGBTQI people. In 2011, they adopted a new Constitution that defines marriage as a union between a woman and a man and limits the notion of family to spouses and parent-child relationships. They adopted legislation on the content of education which does not include LGBTQI issues in school curricula, and introduced family education as a compulsory topic with homophobic and transphobic undertones.
There are several registered NGOs that work on advancing the rights and social acceptance of LGBTQI people; a Pride March has been organized every year since 1997. Budapest has a vibrant LGBTQI social life, with several gay and lesbian clubs, bars, restaurants, parties and sport events. LGBTQI social life is significantly less developed outside the capital, but most larger cities have regular parties or even venues catering specifically for the community.