The Hungarian government has proposed a constitutional amendment requiring children to be raised under Christian teachings in a widespread attack on LGBTQ+ rights.
Justice Minister Judit Varga submitted the draft amendment on Tuesday, October 10, before a nationwide curfew at 8pm was introduced the following day. The proposed legislation will enforce a ban on same-sex couples adopting, forbid schools from holding LGBTQ+ equality workshops, and outlaw trans and non-binary rights.
The draft amendment proposal states, “New, modern ideological processes in the Western world – which raise doubts about the non-creation of men and women – threaten the right of children to healthy development enshrined in the Hungarian Constitution.”
“In order to guarantee this specially named right of children, it is necessary to ensure the right of the child to the identity corresponding to the sex of birth, which the state must protect by all means at its disposal. Birth is not a gift that can be changed: people are born male or female. And human dignity thus includes the right of every child to a self-identity, appropriate to his or her sex at birth, part of which is to enjoy protection against mental or biological interference that affects his or her physical and mental integrity,” the proposal further reads.
The proposed amendment continues to attack LGBTQ+ rights in Hungary by enshrining conservative ‘Christian upbringing’ into the constitution. In May, the Hungarian government passed a bill which strictly defines gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes.”
LGBTQ+ rights groups are deeply concerned by the timing of the latest constitutional amendment as the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have prevented people from gathering in protest. In a released statement, the Háttér Society rights group said, “The timing is no coincidence: the proposals that severely limit legal rights and go against basic international and European human rights … were submitted at a time when… protests are not allowed.”
Vice president of advocacy group Transvanilla Transgender Assosciation, Tine Korlos Orban, said, “People are in panic, people want to escape from Hungary to somewhere else where they can get their gender recognised.”
Many have speculated that the proposed amendment has been submitted to garner support for Prime Minister Orban’s nationalist Fidesz party and Christian party KDNP reelections in early 2022. Mirroring their neighboring country, Poland, the political groups appear to be running on a campaign of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric to secure votes in the election.
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