The Hungarian state does not protect but actively undermines the freedom and rights of LGBTQI people | Háttér Society

The Hungarian state does not protect but actively undermines the freedom and rights of LGBTQI people

A magyar állam nem hogy nem védi, aktívan aláássa az LMBTQI emberek szabadságát és jogait 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told the German news agency, DPA, that “in Hungary (…) the state not only guarantees but actively protects the rights of homosexuals since the most important value is the individual’s liberty.”

In reality, the Fidesz-KDNP government and its parliamentary majority has been systematically undermining the freedom and equal rights of sexual and gender minorities ever since they came into power in 2010, and especially since the spring of 2019.

In 2010, the Parliament revoked the previously adopted Civil Code and the new Civil Code, adopted in 2013, does not allow cohabiting partners to adopt each other’s children.

In 2011 and 2012, the National Police Headquarters prohibited the Budapest Pride March. This decision was ruled by the court to be not only illegal, but also discriminatory.

In 2011, the Parliament adopteda new constitution, the Fundamental Law that cemented the ban of same-sex marriage on a constitutional level.

In December 2011, the Parliament adopted the Family Protection Act. Its provisions regarding inheritance and the definition of family were deemed by the Constitutional Court to be against the Fundamental Law. The governing majority did not respect the decision of the Constitutional Court, and added the  discriminatory definition of family to the Fundamental Law as part of its fourth amendment.

In 2013, KDNP issued a statement to protest against the agreement between Háttér Társaság and the Hungarian Football Federation that same-sex couples and their children would also be able to purchase discount family tickets to the matches of the Hungarian national football team.

In 2014, Imre Kerényi, commissioner of the Prime Minister, announced a war against the “fag agenda” at the Christian Theatre Festival of Újszínház. A few weeks later, Zsolt Semjén, President of KDNP, called same-sex marriage an aberration.

In 2015, Hungary vetoed the adoption of a draft regulation in the Council of the European Union. The regulation was meant to settle property issues of binational spouses and registered partners.

In March 2016, Hungary was the only country to reject the Council conclusion welcoming the LGBTI roadmap of the European Commission.

In May 2016, without public consultation prescribed by law, the government submitted a bill to the Parliament to strip registered partners from all their rights . The proposal was eventually withdrawn.

In February 2019, it was revealed that the Mayor’s Office of Budapest headed by the Fidesz-supported mayor is blocking access to LGBTQI-themed websites from its computer network. The Equal Treatment Authority imposed a heavy fine on the Office.

In May 2019, Fidesz-member Speaker of the Parliament, László Kövér, drew a parallel between paedophiles and same-sex couples raising children, adding that “normal homosexuals” try to adapt and don’t want equality. From this point onwards, homophobic and transphobic government statements have become more frequent.

In October 2019, the Érd District Office of the Pest County Government Office imposed a consumer protection fine of half a million HUF on a company for including same-sex couples in its advertisements.

In March 2020, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, without the public consultation prescribed by law, deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén submitted a bill to the Parliament on behalf of the  Government. The bill adopted in May 2020 prohibit transgender and intersex people from having their gender legally recognised. Parts of the bill has been found unconstitutional by the  Constitutional Court, further review is pending.

In October 2020, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister for the Prime Minister’s Office, threatened with criminal proceedings against teachers who use the book Fairyland is for Everyone , published by Labrisz Lesbian Association for educational purposes. In January 2021, the Consumer Protection Department of the Budapest Government Office required the publisher to place stigmatising information on the cover of the book.

In November 2020, in the middle of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Parliament abolished the Equal Treatment Authority, which played a particularly important role in the legal protection of LGBTQI people.

In December 2020, the Parliament passed an amendment to the Fundamental Law that stigmatised trans people. Also, a bill making it more difficult for unmarried people to adopt children was passed that mandates Minister Katalin Novák, a politician and not a professional as the person to single-handedly  make decisions in the future on who is suitable to become an adoptive parent. Novák publicly confirmed that the purpose of the law is to prevent adoption for same-sex couples.

In January 2021, the Media Council, consisting exclusively of delegates from governing parties, launched an investigation against RTL Klub for airing a video about rainbow families as a public service advertisement.

In June 2021, a few days before the final vote, pro-government MPs submitted a bill to the Parliament to ban all products, advertising and media content featuring gay or transgender people from people under the age of 18, banning the appearance of LGBTQI people in public service advertisements as well as any school programme that “promotes” homosexuality, being transgender, or transitioning.


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