Activists say new law will increase discrimination and is “a step back into the dark ages”

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

Hungary’s parliament has officially voted to end the legal recognition of trans people, passing a bill that activists have said will push the country “back into the dark ages”.

It comes as a hugely disappointing move for the transgender community by Viktor Orbán’s parliament, who are currently ruling by decree due to emergency Covid-19 laws.

Lawmakers voted – with 134 votes in favour, 56 votes against and four abstentions – for the new law that defines gender based upon chromosomes at birth. This will mean that the previous opportunities for trans people to alter their gender and name on official documents will no longer be available. 

The news of the law has been condemned both in Hungary and worldwide. Bernadett Szél, an opposition MP who spoke out strongly against the bill in parliament, described it as evil.

Following yesterday’s vote in parliament on new legislation that bans the legal recognition of transgender and intersex people in Hungary, Krisztina Tamás-Sáróy, Amnesty International’s Europe Researcher, said: “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.”

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