The Hungarian Parliament adopted several anti-LGBT texts on Tuesday, one enshrining the traditional notion of “gender” in the constitution, the other de facto prohibiting adoption for same-sex couples.
“The mother is a woman, the father is a man,” decreed an amendment to the fundamental charter, approved with the support of majority deputies, according to the official website of the Assembly.
The text defines “gender” as only the one assigned at birth, and adds: “Education is provided in accordance with the values based on the constitutional identity and Christian culture” of the country.
In its argumentation, the government justifies this amendment by the need to “protect the child from possible ideological or biological interference” from the modern Western world.
Additionally, the Parliament passed a law allowing only married couples to adopt children, which in practice excludes same-sex couples, as they are not allowed to marry in Hungary. In rare cases, exceptions to the measure can be made.
Since May, it is already legally prohibited to register a sex change in civil status in Hungary, whose Prime Minister Viktor Orban – who has been in power for ten years without interruption – promotes what he calls himself an “illiberal democracy.”
“Targeting vulnerable groups, such as LGBTI people, Roma people and asylum-seekers, has been one of the strategies of the Hungarian government to hasten Hungary’s decline towards an autocracy. This has to end, Europe cannot stand by and watch as the rights of Hungarian citizens are being stripped away by their own government,” commented MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Greens/EFA rapporteur for the European Parliament on the situation in Hungary.
In this crusade to defend “traditional Christian values,” Orban has recently been weakened by the Jozsef Szajer affair. The long-time MEP was surprised at the end of November at a gay sex party, causing an outcry from the opposition and the independent press against the hypocrisy of the Hungarian government.
Various international organisations, such as the UN, Council of Europe, OSCE and EU, regularly accuse Orban of flouting European values. In the past, Hungary has been condemned by the European courts for failing to respect its commitments and the primacy of EU law over national legislation.
At last week’s European Council meeting, Hungary and Poland threatened to block the adoption of the EU budget over the issue of the rule of law conditionality but a compromise was found. “We achieved our target and saved the unity of the Union,” the Hungarian Prime-Minister said. According to Orban, the new mechanism cannot be used for rule of law issues or what he calls “political targets.”