Rights groups condemn Hungarian ban on same-sex adoptions – sex and relationships

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Human rights groups on Wednesday condemned a new Hungarian law that effectively bans adoption for same-sex couples and applies a strict Christian conservative viewpoint to the valid definition of a circle of relatives.

The amendment, passed by Hungary’s right-wing ruling coalition in parliament on Tuesday, alters the constitutional definition of families to exclude transgender and other LGBT individuals, defining the basis of the circle of relatives as “marriage and the parent-child relationship,” and declaring that “the mother is a woman and the father is a man.”

The changes are the most recent in a series of moves seen by critics as hostile to LGBT rights by Hungary’s nationalist ruling party Fidesz and its hardline leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has long said he was once building an “intolerant” Christian democracy.

David Vig, director of rights group Amnesty Hungary, called the passage of the amendment “a dark day for human rights.”

Lawmakers from one opposition party boycotted the parliamentary vote in protest.

Same-sex marriage was once constitutionally banned in Hungary in 2012, but civil partnerships are recognized. On the other hand, the new amendment declares that only married couples may adopt children, effectively barring same-sex couples or unmarried individuals from doing so.

The amendment also tasks the state with “protecting the correct 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.”

This week’s changes come on the heels of a scandal involving Jozsef Szajer, a member of the European Parliament and probably the most founding members of Fidesz, who resigned after being caught by Brussels police attending an unlawful lockdown party in late November described by its host as a homosexual orgy.

Police said that Szajer, who was once probably the most main authors of Hungary’s new 2012 charter which limited LGBT rights, was once caught with drugs in his backpack after making an attempt to flee the party. He later resigned from Fidesz.

In a press release on Tuesday, Budapest Pride, organizers of Hungary’s largest LGBT event, said the Szajer case demonstrated the hypocrisy of Fidesz’s Christian conservatism.

“It reveals what sort of behaviour Fidesz considers ideal from society’s homosexual, lesbian and bisexual members: a double life built upon lies which displays the desired Christian-conservative heterosexual circle of relatives mannequin while actively working to deprive members of the LGBTQ community of their rights,” the group wrote.

A invoice passed in May permanently defined one’s sex as the “organic sex made up our minds 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 once sent to the Constitutional Court in November for review.

Leading politicians have compared same-sex adoption with pedophilia, and have often made openly homophobic statements. In an October radio interview discussing a popular children’s book that featured non-heterosexual characters, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Hungarians “are patient and tolerant” concerning homosexuality, but implied a connection between the LGBT community and child abuse.

“There’s a red line which cannot be crossed. Leave our children alone!” Orban said.

Luca Dudits, a spokesperson for LGBT rights group Hatter Society, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the new amendment violates international human rights norms.

A scarcity of adoptive parents in Hungary means many children are adopted in a foreign country, Dudits said, and further restricting that number will result in “more children remaining in state care or being adopted in a foreign country where they cannot take care of their language or cultural identity.”

Single individuals may still apply to adopt children under the new amendment, but should receive special approval from Hungary’s minister of circle of relatives matters Katalin Novak, an ultra-conservative ruling party politician tasked with managing Hungary’s circle of relatives policy.

Novak caused an uproar on Monday after appearing in a video encouraging women “not to consider that we should all the time compete with men … and have a minimum of the same position and level of salary as others.”

Hatter Society is encouraging same-sex couples to initiate adoption procedures “as whether nothing happened,” preparing to challenge the law on the grounds of the equal remedy law.

“Our valid aid service is prepared to act whether any roughly discrimination is reported to us, and we are able to challenge any illegal rejections in court,” Dudits said.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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