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Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, Hungary Prepares To End Legal Recognition Of Trans People

Hungary’s government is preparing to push through legislation that will end the legal recognition of trans people by defining gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes”, making it impossible for trans people to legally change their gender. 

Activists say that the law will increase discrimination and intolerance towards trans people. “In Hungary, you need to show your ID to rent a bike, buy a bus pass, or to pick up a package at the post office. It basically means coming out as trans to complete strangers, all the time. The best outcome is they are nice about it, but there are situations where people turn quite hostile,” said Ivett Ördög, a trans woman living in Budapest.

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán has adopted legislation that allows him to rule by decree indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Bernadett Szél, an independent MP opposed to the law described it as “evil” and “a step back in time”. She also commented on the timing of the bill stating: “We have a pandemic going on and all of us should be focusing on two things: healthcare issues and helping people financially to secure their wellbeing. What is happening in Hungary is a scandal.

As ‘The Guardian’ reports, it is still unclear if this new legislation will also target trans people who have already made a legal change. Tamás Dombos, a board member of the Háttér Society, a Hungarian organisation focused on LGBTQI rights stated that “We think it’s likely that they don’t plan to go after people who already changed, but we just don’t know.” 

Dombos added that “There’s very clear case law on this in the [European court of human rights] ECHR, so it’s very likely it will be challenged soon after it’s implemented. But the court takes years, and the decisions are always individual. People will probably get compensation but it won’t mean they get new documents.”


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