LGBTQI life in Hungary
Hungary is among the more tolerant countries towards LGBTQI people in Eastern and Central Europe, and with the second 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, housing and access to goods and services. Homophobic and transphobic hate speech and hate crimes are explicitly sanctioned by law. Trans people have access to legal 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 people still face prejudice and discrimination in many areas of life. Most of them decide to keep their sexual orientation and / or 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.
The lack of legislation on legal gender recognition and related name change for foreigners permanently residing in the country is unconstitutional – ruled the Hungarian Constitutional Court. The petitioner, an Iranian trans man was represented by the legal aid service of Háttér Society.
The banning of an LGBTQI roundtable in April 2016 by the University of Debrecen and its subsidiary amounted to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity - decided the Equal Treatment Authority, and imposed a fine of 100.000 HUF on the University.
Same-sex marriages conducted abroad have to be recognized in Hungary as registered partnerships - says in a binding decision the Regional Court of Budapest. The case was launched by an American-Hungarian lesbian couple, whose Belgian marriage the Hungarian authorities would not register. Háttér Society provided legal representation to the couple.
Our operators available via phone, Skype and chat answer any questions on LGBTQI topics; and offer help in relation to self-acceptance, coming out, or conflicts with your family, your partner, at your your school or workplace.
10-12 counselling sessions for people struggling with self-acceptance, coming out, forming relationships, managing conflicts or stress or other mental health issues fitting the LGBTQI profile of the service.
We offer free legal counselling and representation to victims of discrimination, harassment and violence on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; and provide advice on any legal matter where the sexual orientation or gender identity of the person might be significant.
Our HIV hotline answers calls 0-24 every day, since 2005. It was formed to help HIV-infected people and their mental health; to give support to accept their HIV-positive status; to give them information and help through the crisis.
We collect and make available LGBTQI-themed books, studies, films and news items; as well as archival materials about LGBTQI life in Hungary.
Regularly updated, LGBT-themed news from Hungary and from the world, in Hungarian: legal and political developments, cultural news, celebrity news.
Hungarian LGBT organizations’ programs, database of cultural and community events or tv shows in gay topics.
Database of LGBT-themes movies and their main data that have presented in Hungary, and LGBT-themed literary works published in Hungarian.
An online discrimination reporting interface that allows you to easily report discrimination, harassment or violence, or to ask for free legal help by our legal aid program, by filling a form.