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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 22, 2020 - Volume 48 Issue 21
Hungary bans recognition of Trans citizens
Section One
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Hungary bans recognition of Trans citizens

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Hungarian parliament passed a law May 19 barring legal recognition of Transgender people.

The legislation came in the form of amendments to the country's birth, death, and marriage registry, changing to word "sex" to "sex at birth" in references to gender markers on legal documents. Under the new law, Hungarians can no longer carry documents reflecting their gender identity, but only ones showing the gender they were assigned at birth.

The amendments were part of a large legislative package submitted by Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen, head of the Christian Democratic party.

"Given that the complete change of the biological sex is not possible, it is necessary to state in law that there is no possibility to change it in the registry of births, marriages and deaths, either," an explanation accompanying the legislation said.

The Christian Democratic Party is allied with Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing Fidesz Party, a group that has its origins in the underground resistance to Hungary's former Communist government.

The legislation has come under strong criticism from rights groups, which are asking Hungary's president to refrain from signing the bill into law and send it for review to the nation's Constitutional Court.

The move is only the latest in a long string of actions distancing Orban's government from the European Union (EU), of which Hungary remains a member.

The European Parliament, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Hungarian Psychological Society have expressed their disapproval to the Hungarian government.

"This decision pushes Hungary back toward the dark ages and tramples the rights of transgender and intersex people," Amnesty International Hungary international researcher Krisztina Tamas-Saroy said in a statement. "It will not only expose them to further discrimination but will also deepen an already intolerant and hostile environment faced by the LGBTI community.

"Everyone's gender should be legally recognized, and everyone must be allowed to change their legal name and gender markers on all official documents."

Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, earlier asked Hungary's parliament to reject the amendments, calling on authorities to "ensure that transgender people have access to expeditious and transparent procedures for changing their names and gender or sex in the civil registry, and on identity cards, passports, educational certificates, and other similar documents."

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