Hungary is doubling down on its homophobia.
The European country’s parliament recently voted to amend the constitution’s definition of family, according to NBC News. Specifically, the new language states that a family is “based on marriage and the parent-child relation. The mother is a woman, the father a man.”
“Hungary defends the right of children to identify with their birth gender and ensures their upbringing based on our nation’s constitutional identity and values based on our Christian culture,” the newly updated constitution says.
This change poses a problem for LGBTQ people because the law currently states that only married couples can adopt a child. While there are some exceptions for single people or family members looking to adopt children, the majority of cases focus on married couples. And while Hungary recognizes civil unions, the country has not legalized gay marriage. As such, the conservative Fidesz party, which is led by Prime Minister Vikor Orban, is making this change in order to ban same-sex couples from adopting children, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
This is the latest in a series of anti-LGBT rhetoric and initiatives pushed by the conservative government in the past year. This includes Hungary banning gender changes in personal documents in May, announcing offense at children’s’ books covering LGBTQ issues, and Prime Minister Orban’s cabinet chief Gergely Gulyas once saying at a briefing that “the physical and mental development of a child is ensured if he has a father and a mother.”
Hungary’s growing hostile treatment of LGBTQ people has gained mass opposition from organizations across the globe. The European Union, for instance, announced a new pro-LGBTQ rights initiative in November as a response to Hungary’s growing intolerance. Then with this new amendment to the constitution, Amnesty International released a statement calling the new laws “discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic.”
“This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” said David Vid, the Director of Amnesty Hungary, in the statement. “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.”
Masen Davis, Executive Director at Transgender Europe, added:
“Earlier this year, Hungary made it impossible for trans people to change their names and legal gender marker. We are deeply concerned for the health and safety of trans children and adults in Hungary in such a hostile climate. We call upon EU Commission President von der Leyen to address the rights of LGBT parents, the attempt to erase gender diverse children, and the ban on legal gender recognition in the Commission’s rule of law assessment and on-going Article 7 TEU proceedings against Hungary.”