Hungary’s nationalist government has banned the legal recognition of transgender citizens, asserting that “the complete change of the biological sex is not possible.”
The Guardian reports: “The new law defines gender as based on chromosomes at birth, meaning previous provisions whereby trans people could alter their gender and name on official documents will no longer be available. The votes of rightwing prime minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party pushed the legislation through by 134 to 56, with four abstentions. It is likely to be signed into law by the president, János Áder, a close ally of Orbán.”
Said an explanation accompanying the new law: “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.”
Amnesty International’s Researcher, Krisztina Tamás-Sáróy released a statement: “This decision pushes Hungary back towards the dark ages and tramples the rights of transgender and intersex people. It will not only expose them to further discrimination but will also deepen an already intolerant and hostile environment faced by the LGBTI community. It is critical for Hungary’s Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to act urgently and request that the Constitutional Court review and swiftly annuls the appalling provisions of this law. Everyone’s gender identity should be legally recognised and everyone must be allowed to change their legal name and gender markers on all official documents.”
In March, Hungary’s government granted Orban indefinite, unlimited powers amid the coronavirus crisis that he has promised to give back, “when this emergency ends.”
NPR reported: “Those powers include sidelining parliament and giving Orban the power to rule by decree indefinitely. The law would punish those who spread false information about the pandemic with up to five years in prison. … critics insist that Orban is using the pandemic to grab power. ‘An indefinite and uncontrolled state of emergency cannot guarantee that the basic principles of democracy will be observed,’ Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric wrote to Orban on March 24.”
The anti-trans bill proceeded through normal legislative channels after being introduced on March 31, the International Transgender Day of Visibility.