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Hungary tries to change constitution to ban same-sex couples from adopting

Hungary tries to change constitution to ban same-sex couples from adopting

  • A further series of crackdowns on LGBT+ rights in Hungary will also enshrine anti-trans attitudes in the constitution.
János Áder.

Hungary has launched a fresh attack on LGBT+ people by rewriting the constitution to stop same-sex couples adopting.

The government’s proposed change to the constitution says that in a child-parent relationship, ‘the mother is a woman, the father is a man’.

The move would limit adoption to married heterosexuals – banning same-sex couples and trans people.

Meanwhile the Judicial Committee of the Parliament started plans to abolish Hungary’s most important equality body – the Equal Treatment Authority (ETA).

It has stood up to the government on LGBT+ issues while others haven’t. And in April the ETA criticized Hungary’s plan to ban legal gender recognition.

The plans to change the constitution comes from the far-right government of President János Áder and his Fidesz party. They have vowed to enshrine ‘Christian values’ into Hungary’s constitution.

Justice Minister Judit Varga submitted the change to the Fundamental Law – the constitution – yesterday.

And it also contains another attack on trans people. It states:

‘Hungary protects children’s right to identify as the sex they were born with, and ensures their upbringing based on our national self-identification and Christian culture.’

Rejecting rainbow families

This change will enshrine an attack on trans identities in the constitution.

Moreover it will force parents and schools to educate children within the parameters of traditional Christian views. The government, naturally, feels LGBT+ inclusion doesn’t fit into that tradition. 

Hungary’s bid to stop trans people changing legal gender attracted condemnation from around the world in the spring.

However another change in October received less attention.

The government tried to make it harder for unmarried people to adopt. This includes all same-sex couples, as Hungary doesn’t offer marriage equality. The change said such parents can only adopt if no married couple in the country is willing to take the child.

The new proposals extend that restriction and make it even tougher. Only Family Minister Katalin Novák would be able to authorize exemptions.

Anti-LGBT+ Catholic professor takes charge

Meanwhile the government is trying to install a loyal puppet within the ETA.

Since 2005, the body has been responsible for investigating discrimination on grounds of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Moreover, in the last few years, while other public bodies have followed the government’s line, it has delivered several decisions in LGBT+ Hungarian’s favor.

But it seems those days may now be over.

The proposal will see the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights take over the ETA’s tasks. The current commissioner is Ákos Kozma, a former professor of Pázmány Catholic University.

He supports the ruling Fidesz party and has repeatedly ignored appeals from the LGBT+ community since taking on the job in September 2019.

Earlier this year the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told Hungary not to abuse the pandemic to advance its anti-LGBT+ agenda.

That came as the country struggled with its first coronavirus wave and launched its attack on trans people registering their gender identity.

Now the new attack has been timed in exactly the same way – just hours after parliament declared a state of emergency due to COVID.

Critics say it is a deliberate strategy to silence demonstrations.