The Hungarian Parliament has passed a series of constitutional amendments which directly targets and impacts the LGBTQ+ community.

Today (December 15) Hungary has implemented a strict code of legal changes that outright discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community and threatens their human rights.

Following the new law introduced today, Hungary is now prohibiting legal gender recognition. An individual’s sex will be defined as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes” which will be unable to be changed at a later date. The initial recording of “sex of birth” will be documented in the national registry of births, marriages and deaths.

A new constitutional amendment made to Hungary’s Fundamental Law which describes a normative family unit is where “the mother is female, the father is male”, which intentionally excludes  same-sex couples.

Another controversial bill was introduced 10 November which ensured that only married couples will be allowed to adopt children. Exceptions to the prevailing rule can be accommodated, but it is increasingly likely that same-sex couples, single household families and non-married opposite-sex couples will be excluded from the opportunity to adopt.

As of today, Christian education has been included in the Basic Law, which stipulates that “the mother is a woman, the father is a man.”

Ruling in favour of Christian education, an amendment was made to Article XVI of the Fundamental Law, stating: “Hungary shall protect the right of children to their identity in line with their sex by birth, and shall ensure an upbringing in accordance with the values based on our homeland’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.”

This new provision will both impact and directly stigmatise transgender people as it will prohibit any opportunity to host LGBTQ+ educational classes, workshops, or activities that do not correlate with Christian ethics or attitudes.

In recent weeks, the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary have been subjected to homophobic and transphobic attitudes and statements from ruling parties. A most recent example was a statement issued by the Prime Minister after an LGBTQ+ children’s book, Wonderland Belongs to Everyone, was published in mainstream circulation. The book itself featured a diverse range of topics, including divisibility, sexualities and ethnicities.

However, following the publication of the book this September, the children’s novel faced extreme criticism. On September 25, the deputy leader of Hungary’s far-right Mi Hazank party ripped pages of the book one after another during a press conference and called it “homosexual propaganda.”

A few days later, on October 4, the Hungary Prime Minister made an active distinction between “Hungarians” and “homosexuals” during an interview, stating: “As regards homosexuality, Hungary is a patient, tolerant country. But there is a red line that must not be crossed, and this is how I would sum up my opinion: ‘Leave our children alone.’”

David Vig, Director of Amnesty Hungary, commented on Hungary’s unfolding issue: “This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights. These discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws – rushed through under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic – are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities.”