Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban Source: Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP

Hungary Bans Gay Adoption, Same-Sex Family Recognition

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

The Hungarian government, under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has passed a constitutional amendment that simultaneously heightens the government's power and denies familial recognition and adoption rights to same-sex couples, The New York Times reports.

The measure was passed mere weeks after a prominent government official and Orban ally, Jozsef Szajer, stepped down from the European Parliament after being caught last month attending a "gay orgy," the Times notes.

The new legislation also follows other anti-LGTBQ laws adopted in that nation recently. "Earlier this year, the government adopted legislation tying an individual's gender to the person's sex and chromosomes at birth – the first law of its kind in Europe and a clear attack on transgender rights," the Times recalled.

Reuters reported that the new legislation reaches deeply into the private matters of both mixed-gender and same-sex families, in that it "also mandates that parents raise children in a conservative spirit."

Reuters noted that the amendment includes "a dozen new rules including a new definition for family as the union of a father who is a man and a mother who is a woman, redefining the clause to exclude alternative family types."

The change eradicates the one path to adoption same-sex couples previously had, with one member of the couple becoming an officially "single" adoptive parent.

The slew of new anti-LGBTQ measures come in the wake of "a new law [from] earlier this year banning gender change in personal documents and ideological battles over children's books showing diversity positively," Reuters went on to add.

Orban, the Times summarized, has "stepped up his attacks on the LGBT community, casting them as an enemy of the state and of Christian values – much in the same way he demonized migrants in the past."

The anti-LGBTQ amendment was part of a package of legislation that the government approved on Dec. 15. Other measures adopted at the same time "relax oversight of the spending of public funds, which critics say will allow the government" to hand taxpayer cash over to recipients without being required to provide any "disclosure of its use," the Times reported. Moreover, the new laws provide greater latitude to the government "to declare a state of emergency, while also removing meaningful oversight of its actions while such a decree is in place."

The E�tv�s K�roly Policy Institute's Agnes Kovacs said that the package of new legislation means "Fidesz chose to cement its power even more" than it already had.

"Mr. Orban, a populist autocrat who has proudly stated his vision of creating what he calls an 'illiberal' state, has hollowed out many of the checks and balances viewed as integral to healthy democratic governance," the Times recalled. "He has aligned the executive, legislative and judicial branches to do his party's bidding, making such sweeping legislation both possible and hard to challenge."

LGBTQ rights advocates decried the action, Reuters reported. "This is a dark day for Hungary's LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights," said the director of Amnesty Hungary, David Vig.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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