List of relevant legislation and case law
Article II of the Fundamental Law contains that all persons have the right to human dignity. The Constitutional Court has confimed several times that sexual orientation is an inherent part of human dignity. Article XV:2 prohibits discrimination based on any ground besides those of race, skin colour, sex, disability, language, religions, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth or birth. The Constitutional Court has interpreted other status to include sexual orientation.
Act no. IV of 1978 on the Criminal Code
Article 174/B of the Criminal Code sanctions violence against a member of a community that is assaulting a person because of his/her belonging to a particular social group - e.g. based on sexual orientation or gender identity - with up to eight years imprisonment. Article 269 punishes incitement to hatred against a particular social group - e.g. based on sexual orientation or gender identity - with up to three years imprisonment.
ACT NO. C OF 2012 ON THE CRIMINAL CODE
Article 216 of the Criminal Code explicitly sanctions violent acts motivated by homophobic and transphobic as violence against a member of a community with up to eight years imprisonment. Article 332 explicitly sanctions incitement to hatred against groups based on sexual orientation or gender identity with up to three years imprisonment.
Act no. IV of 1959 on the Civil Code
Article 76 of the Civil Code deems the violation of the principle of equal treatment a violation of personality rights, thus victims of discrimination or harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity can claim damages via a civil procedure. Since 1996 Article 685/A recognizes cohabitation between same-sex couples.
Act no. CXXV of on equal treatment and the promotion of equal opportunities
The Equal Treatment Act prohibits direct and indirect discrimination, as well as harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the fields of employment, social security and health, housing, education and training, and access to goods and services. Victims of discrimination can take their complaints to the Equal Treatment Authority, the Authority for Consumer Protection or the courts. The legislation provides for the shifting of the burden of proof; that is, it is enough for victims of discrimination to render it probable that he or she suffered some disadvantage and has a protected characteristic, and it is up for the other party to prove that no violation has happened.
Act no. XXIX of 2009 on on registered partnership and related legislation and on the amendment of other statutes to facilitate the proof of cohabitation
The act introduced a new family law institution for same-sex couples called registered partnership. With a few exceptions, all the provisions on spouses also apply to registered partners. Registered partnership is established via a statement in front of a registrar, and is ended only by the death of the partners or dissolution via the courts of public notaries. The same rules apply to registered partners as to spouses, e.g. in the fields of property, inheritance, social benefits, taxation, immigration etc. Registered partners cannot take their partners name, cannot adopt jointly, cannot adopt their partner's child and cannot participate in assisted reproduction. Furthermore, the act introduced the possibility for both same- and different-sex couples to register their cohabitation at public notaries. The registration does not come with any added rights, but facilitates the proof of the existence of cohabitation.
Constitutional Court decisions
Constitutional Court decision no. 14/1995. (III. 13.)
The decision of the Constitutional Court found that the right of marriage for same-sex couples cannot be inferred from the Constitution, but the relationship between two partners of the same-sex may realize such values that deserve legal recognition. The Court recommended the opening of cohabitation to same-sex couples or the introduction of a new legal institution for them. Following the decision cohabitation was extended to same-sex couples.
Constitutional Court decision no. 20/1999. (VI. 25.)
The decision of the Constitutional Court found that the fact that non-penetrative sexual relations between different-sex siblings is not criminalized, but it is criminalized for same-sex siblings is discrimination based on sexual orientation, and thus is unconstitutional. It was the first time that the Constitutional Court claimed that the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of other status in Article 70/A of the Constitution also covers discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Constitutional Court decision no. 37/2002. (IX. 4.)
The decision of the Constitutional Court found that the Criminal Code cannot set a different age of consent for same-sex and different sex sexual relations. According to the Constitutional Court that amounts to discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Court also found that sexual orientation is an inherent part of human dignity, thus exceptional reasons are needed to legitimate such discrimination.
Constitutional Court decision no. 154/2008. (XII. 17.)
The decision of the Constitutional Court found that introducing registered partnership for same-sex couples is not unconstitutional, but a constitutional duty: the legislator is required to introduce an institution similar to marriage for same-sex couples, because the legal recognition for their partnership follows from the right to human dignity, the right to self-determination and the tight to personal development. The Court also found that there is no constitutional reason for having different rules for marriage and registered partnership for same-sex couples. The Court still declared the Registered Partnership Act of 2007 unconstitutional, as registered parnership was also available for different-sex couples.
Constitutional Court decision no. 32/2010. (III. 25.)
The decision of the Constitutional Court confirmed the constitutionality of the Registered Partnership Act of 2009, which following the 2008 Constitutional Court decision was amended to create registered partnership to same-sex couples only. Furthermore, the Court found that registrars have no right to conscientious objection to performing same-sex registered partnership ceremonies that might be in contrast with their religious views.