Hungary Amends Constitution to Uphold Traditional Family, Stamping out LGBT Adoptions

Conservative Christian groups and human rights groups are clashing over a new law in Hungary that effectively bans adoption for same-sex couples and legally defines a family according to traditional Christian views of marriage, family, and gender, where “the mother is a woman, the father is a man.”

The amendment, passed by Hungary’s ruling right-wing coalition in parliament on Tuesday, alters the constitutional definition of families to exclude transgender adults and same-sex couples, asserting that the “foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship.”

The bill passed this week stated, “The Fundamental Law of Hungary is a living framework that expresses the will of the nation, the form in which we want to live. However, the ‘modern’ set of ideas that make all traditional values, including the two sexes, relative is a growing concern.”

Same-sex marriage was constitutionally banned in Hungary in 2012, but civil partnerships are recognized. The new amendment declares that only married couples may adopt children, effectively barring same-sex couples or single individuals from doing so. Amnesty Hungary called the passage of the amendment “a dark day for human rights.”

The amendment also tasks the state with “protecting the right of children to self-identity according to their sex at birth,” and mandates that children be raised “in accordance with the values based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.”

Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban.

A bill passed in May permanently defined one’s sex as the “biological sex determined by primary sex characteristics and chromosomes,” effectively disallowing transgender individuals from petitioning the government to change their names and genders in official documents. That law was sent to the Constitutional Court in November for review.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who belongs to the Calvinist Hungarian Reformed Church, has long said he was building an “illiberal” Christian democracy. Orbán has made a series of policy moves seen as hostile to the LGBT community, immigrants and refugees, and in some cases to fellow Christians as well. The head of the Hungary Evangelical Fellowship spoke up against Orbán’s “Christian liberty” slogan, opposing the use of the Christian label for an “exclusionary, hate-filled and corrosive policy.”

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