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Trans activists take Hungary’s new law banning gender recognition to Constitutional Court

Trans activists take Hungary’s new law banning gender recognition to Constitutional Court

  • It’s the last resort to block the cruel new law.
Hungary's Constitutional Court justices.

Hungarian campaign organization Transvanilla is taking the case of two trans people to the Constitutional Court to win the right for them to change their legal gender.

It’s an attempt to overturn a cruel new law that Hungary passed this month. The new law effectively makes trans people invisible in Hungary.

The Transvanilla Transgender Association says: ‘The Constitutional Court remains the last option in the country to stop the government’s amok run.’

The association will ask the court to declare that ‘the law is unconstitutional and therefore should be annulled’.

How Hungary passed its cruel anti-trans law

Hungary already suspended issuing gender recognition paperwork two years ago.

Then on 31 March – International Transgender Visibility Day – Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén filed an omnibus bill including a ban on legal gender recognition.

The bill amends the Registry Act and replaces the word ‘nem’, which in Hungarian can mean both ‘sex’ and ‘gender’, with the word ‘születési nem’ or ‘birth sex’.

Furthermore it defines it as ‘biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes’.

According to the bill, the birth sex, once recorded, cannot be amended. The cruel law won’t just hurt individuals but will also make trans people legally invisible in Hungary.

Hungary’s Parliament passed the bill on 19 May by 133 to 57 votes. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party enjoys a two-thirds majority, enough to push the new law through, in spite of opposition from other parties.

Now Hungary’s President János Áder has signed it into law.

The European Parliament, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and multiple campaign groups have all criticized Hungary for the move.

Trans campaigners fight back

However, the fight is far from over.

Transvanilla is already representing 23 individuals who applied to change legal gender before the new law came in. Hungary suspended applications in 2018.

That case is before the European Court of Human Rights. The court has given Hungary until 4 June to act. If not, it said it would rule on the case.

Moreover, Transvanilla says it will ‘provide legal representation to all trans and intersex people’ launching gender recognition cases.

It adds: ‘Because in Hungary there is no possibility to do so, we take these future cases to the European Court of Human Rights.’

Meanwhile a petition is asking Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to take action.

The activists also hope that by acting now, they can stop other countries following Hungary’s example.

Transvanilla wants people to post this message on social media:

‘I stand in solidarity with Hungarian trans and intersex people and call out the Hungarian government to provide them opportunity to get their real gender legally recognised! #IgentaNemre #LGRforHungary #TransRightsAreHumanRights #IntersexRightsAreHumanRights’

You can also donate to Transvanilla here.