Hungary’s parliament bans gender changes on legal documents

The parliament of Hungary has voted to put an end to gender amendments on legal documents, in new legislation deemed “evil” by LGBTIQ+ advocates.

Voting on Tuesday, the bill passed 113 votes to 57 as part of a slew of supposedly COVID-19 related laws, which amends the legal definition of gender to “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes.”

LGBTIQ+ advocates in Hungary and around the world are concerned that the new laws will strengthen barriers between trans and gender diverse folks and access to health care, services, employment and housing.

Hungarian advocacy group Hatter says the “sad and outrageous” move ignores “practical and human rights concerns raised by dozens of civil society organisations and international bodies.”

“We will not give up the fight: we ask the president of the republic to send the law for review to the Constitutional Court.”

Victor Orban, leader of Hungary’s governing right-wing party Fidesz, says the move will “end legal uncertainty.”

A spokesperson for Orban’s government communications team says that Fidesz believe the decision to “register children’s biological sex in their birth certificates does not affect men’s and women’s right to freely experience and exercise their identities as they wish.”

The move follows a growing anti-LGBTIQ+ sentiment in regions of Europe, perhaps most notably Poland’s widespread ‘anti-LGBT’ zones and legislative moves against the community.

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