Hungarian Prime Minister immediately uses new powers to attack trans rights

© European People's Party via Flickr

Viktor Orban got the powers to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, in a bid to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Hungarian parliament agreed to give Prime Minister Viktor Orban the right to rule by decree, meaning he no longer has to consult other lawmakers before making decisions.

And what was one of his first moves to fight the pandemic? He decided to introduce a bill which would make it illegal for trans people to change their legal gender.

The proposed bill says: “The gender entered into the civil registry is based on facts determined by doctors, declared by the registry.”

It adds: “Given that completely changing one’s biological gender is impossible, it is necessary to lay it down in law that it cannot be changed in the civil registry either.”

If the bill passes, all forms of legal documentation like passports and driving licences will take their information from the civil registry, which will only note ‘gender at birth’.

The bill has been slammed by others, including many MEPs. Marc Angel, the co-president of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights in the European Parliament said: “This attack on the trans community is outrageous and deliberate.

“This move does not only intentionally silence the trans community – it seeks to erase it and deny its existence.”

Delia Giandeini via Unsplash

The Transvanilla Transgender Association condemned the bill, saying: “It denies trans people the right to gender recognition, violating their right to self-determination and countering national and international human rights standards.

“Our association calls on the government to reconsider the proposal. As we have previously reported, Hungary is one of the few EU member states, where no proper legal measures are in place to regulate legal gender recognition.”

Last year, hundreds of trans people marched through Budapest as part of Hungary’s first Trans Pride.

One of the speakers at the march, Ivett Ördög explained some of the risks that she faced due to the government not allowing her to legally change he gender. “One time I was at the post office and the police were called on me because the post office clerk thought I was a fraud,” she said.

“Another time I gave up on playing billiards because in order to play, my ID card should have been submitted to the bartender who looked like an extremist, intolerant person.”

Hungary does not have a good track record when it comes to LGBTQ rights, with a lot of homophobic rhetoric coming from the Orban administration.

The country has banned Coca-Cola ads featuring same-sex couples, arguing that they were “detrimental” to the growth of children, and they also pulled out of Eurovision, amid claims that it was “too gay” for them.

Andras Bencik, TV commentator and editor of a pro-government magazine, called Eurovision a “homosexual flotilla” and suggested that the country’s mental health would be improved by bowing out of the competition.

Related: The invisible have voices too – listen to trans youth

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