The Hungarian Parliament has drawn the ire of LGBT proponents worldwide with the approval of a Constitutional amendment that will protect the family and uphold a child’s right to have a mother and father.
The Ninth Amendment, tabled by the Labour of Justice, now makes it extremely difficult for same-sex couples to adopt, thus preserving the mental and physical development of children.
Within the language of the amendment, the Constitution is supplemented with the sentence, “the mother is a woman, the father is a man.” It also says the adopters may be, primarily, married couples. President of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyas, stated “In general, a choice physical and mental development is served by the fact that “he” or “she” has a mother and father. But there may be exceptional cases. I think that is a reasonable regulation in the best interest of the child.”
LGBT officials in Hungary have voiced concern that same-sex couples will not be able to adopt under any circumstances. According to the amendment, if someone wants to adopt, the Minister for Family Affairs can help to determine his or her suitability.
Hungary’s Family Affairs Minister Katalin Novak defended the amendment, stating “a little boy must have the right to grow up as a little boy, and the little girl to be able to grow up as a girl in Hungary. Today, it has become necessary.”
As the issue concerned fundamental human rights, the amendment legislation needed two-thirds support in the National Assembly. In the last 10 years, receiving that kind of support in the Hungarian Parliament has been a formality with Prime Minister Victor Orban’s Fidesz-KDNP governing alliance holding the Constitutional majority.
Same-sex marriage Is not legalised in Hungary, and same-sex partnerships do not enjoy adoption rights, thus preventing LGBT people from adopting children.
Another part of the legislative changes flies in the face of rampant and worldwide LGBT activism. Children’s gender identity has been restricted to their sex assigned at birth and ensures an upbringing that “reflects the values based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.” This comes on the heels of a law passed in May of this year which bans gender recognition of people who do not identify in a binary (masculine-feminine) fashion.
In prohibiting legal gender recognition, an individual’s sex will now be defined as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes” which will be unable to be changed at a later date. The initial recording of “sex of birth” will be documented in the national registry of births, marriages and deaths.
In November, Amnesty International came out with a public statement condemning the proposal, arguing that the amendment “violates human dignity, the rights to private and family life, and the right to protection from discrimination.” It went on to add that “the reference to “Christian culture” is contrary to the rights to freedom of conscience and religion enshrined in the Constitution and the right to education and potentially can be used to undermine the equal enjoyment of human rights by everyone, including non-Christians.”
Prime Minister Orban and his majority government have been staunch defenders of the family. In September, an LGBT children’s book “Wonderland Belongs to Everyone” was published featuring topics such as divisibility, sexualities, and ethnicities. In a press conference following the book’s publication, Deputy Leader Mi Hanzak ripped out, one by one, pages from the book and called it “homosexual propaganda”. A few days later, Orban stated, “As regards homosexuality, Hungary is a patient, tolerant country. But there is a red line that must not be crossed, and this is how I would sum up my opinion: ‘Leave our children alone.’”