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Religious Tolerance logo


Transgender matters:

2020: Hungary ends recognition
of its transgender persons:

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2020-MAY-19: Hungary's Federal government passes restrictive law:

A federal law amending the law on the birth, death and marriage registry was approved, mostly by deputies from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, 

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen, head of the Christian Democratic party, wrote the amendment.

Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, had earlier asked Hungary’s Parliament to reject the amendments, calling on authorities to:

"... ensure that transgender people have access to expeditious and transparent procedures for changing their names and gender or sex in the civil registry, and on identity cards, passports, educational certificates and other similar documents."

Accompanying the amendment was the explanation that:

"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."

The term "sex" when used in the registry will now refer to the person's birth identified sex, and is defined as:

"The biological sex determined by [the person's] primary sex characteristics and chromosomes."

Under the new law, sex is established at birth and cannot be changed later in life. Transgender and intersex people will no longer be able to legally change their gender to match their current gender identity.

The European Parliament, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Hungarian Psychological Society have expressed concern about the new legislation.

Krisztina Tamas-Saroy, the Hungary international researcher at Amnesty International said in a statement:

"This decision pushes Hungary back toward 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.

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."

Marton Dunai, writing for Reuters, said:

"Rights groups say hostility to LGBT+ people has increased since nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third term in 2018. The European Union has long criticised Orban’s right-wing government over its record on the rule of law and civil liberties.

According to ILGA, an International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex advocacy group, Hungary slipped the most in Europe in terms of gay rights in 2019, although it is still ahead of nearly all eastern European countries."

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References used:

  1. "Hungary bans legal recognition of its transgender citizens," Associated Press News, 2020-MAY-19, at:
  2. Marton Dunai, "Transgender couple in limbo as Hungary bans changes to identity papers," Reuters, 2020-JUN-12, at:

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Copyright © 2020 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-JUL-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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