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Anti-LGBT constitution, ‘family protection’ law in Hungary come into force

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

BUDAPEST — Tens of thousands of LGBT people joined the opposition parties Monday in Budapest, Hungary for mass protests against the country’s new anti-gay Constitution and Law.

On January 1, a new homophobic constitution and law came into force in Hungary — the constitution now bans same-sex couples from marriage while the new “Family Protection” law defines the family as a heterosexual unit and stipulates that media services should broadcast programs that respect the institution of marriage and family.

The constitution that was voted on April 18 has thus now come into force; Article L of the constitution defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, while Article XV.2 excludes sexual orientation from the protected grounds of discrimination (but does have provision for protection on the basis of race and gender).

In essence the new constitution would make it very difficult for LGBT people to gain marriage equality in the near future and provides no protection for LGBT people from unfair dismissal or hate crimes.

In addition, the power of constitution courts has been curbed — previously a law/act that might be argued as discriminatory could be annulled by petitioning to the constitutional courts via a non-governmental organization (NGO) or Civil Society Organizations.

Speaking with LGBTQ Nation, Tamás Dombos, from Háttér Support Society for LGBT People, said, “This is how we passed the law of cohabitation for same-sex couples in 1995 and equalized the age of consent in 2002. The new constitution will no longer enable NGOs or civil society organisation to launch such campaigns in the constitutional courts.”

The Family Protection Bill proposed by four Members of Parliament of the Christian Democratic Party, and voted as law on Dec.23, states:

“Art 7. (1) When applying this law family shall mean the relationship between natural persons in an economic and emotional community that is based on a marriage between a woman and a man, or lineal descent, or family-based guardianship.

“(2) Lineal descent is established by way of filiation or adoption.”

The law reiterates that the life of the fetus starts with the moment of conception, that preparing for family life should be part of school curriculum, and that media services should broadcast programs that respect the institution of marriage and family.

Dombos stated that “the Family Protection Bill basically excludes same sex couples, and makes provisions on inheritance which may result in registered same-sex partners losing their rights to inheritance.”

In addition Dombos stressed that: ”the law also states that all ‘media services should broadcast programs that respect the institution of marriage and family’, that ‘sounds’ neutral but we are concerned it would be used in the media and internet against any material that has a pro-LGBT point of view.”

Ten of thousands of people protested together, including from LGBT and opposition parties, such as the Socialist and Greens, against the new constitution and law.

“Despite such bad news”, remarked Dombos, “there is a ray of hope, LGBT rights is now a mainstream issue embraced by the opposition.”

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Filed under: Europe

17 more reader comments:

  1. God again it feels like this is never going to end

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:22pm
  2. Are gay people really that bad?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:23pm
  3. Damn it.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:25pm
  4. There will never be a shortage of ignorance in this world, unfortunately…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:25pm
  5. Courage, Bry. The fact that they even feel the need to pass these laws means that they are noticing our presence. Soon, we will overcome. Maybe not today or tomorrow or next year, but it will happen.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:26pm
  6. This is sad. People just need to get over it, and accept that people are people, who cares, love is the answer, acceptance is the answer.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:26pm
  7. its a backward place that anyway and sure to receive its fair share of riots and demo’s in this spreading wave of democracy worldwide, VIVE LA REVOLUTION…

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:27pm
  8. Ashamed of my home country for the 100000000th time. I’m so glad I don’t live there anymore.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:31pm
  9. I am REALLY starting to hate christianity. How about we draft a constitution that bans all religion??? One that allows them to be prosecuted for a CHOICE they make. They CHOOSE to follow that religion. We DO NOT choose to be gay. Dumb Fucks.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:41pm
  10. Looks like we still have some work to do…this battle lost…the war goes on and we are smarter and more committed .

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:44pm
  11. Wow! I thought we were moving AWAY from bias/judgment/prejudice. WHAT year is this?

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:52pm
  12. Time to boycott Hungarian goods and vacation spots.
    But isn’t Hungary part of the EEU? I would think this violates some of its standards.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 10:24pm
  13. Loooks like I won’t be going to Budapest any time soon. BOYCOTT!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 10:25pm
  14. So sad to read, but important to know about. My husband is Hungarian by descent. This odd law limits so many people.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 2:05am
  15. Let’s burn down Hungary.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:16am
  16. So sad…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 6:10am
  17. Allison Griffith:

    “Let’s burn down Hungary.”

    I’m a Hungarian lesbian, born and raised in Budapest but living abroad. My family, friends and our LGBT community still live in the country you blithely recommend “burning down.”

    The laws adopted by the current neo-Fasciast Hungarian government are shameful, but they do not entitle you or any other Westerner to denigrate my country or call for its destruction.

    Hungary is no more “backward” than, say, the United States, in which Federal law (the Defense of Marriage Act) prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages and 29 states have constitutional amendments banning them outright.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for this hateful and bigoted comment, especially if you claim to be an advocate for human rights.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 10:18pm