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Hungary likely to end legal recognition of transgender people

Hungary likely to end legal recognition of transgender people

Hungary's government looks likely to push through legislation that will end the legal recognition of transgender people in the country.

The new legislation, if passed, could see gender defined as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes”, thus making it impossible for people in the country to legally change their gender.

The plans for legislation were introduced into the country's Parliament while attention is focused on the Coronavirus pandemic. Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán has attracted international criticism recently by adopting legislation that allows him to rule by decree indefinitely. Parliament is still sitting in the country at this time but is focusing on issues such as new transgender legislation, rather than the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far led to over 270 deaths in the country.

Orbán's government holds 133 of 199 seats in the Hungarian Parliament.

It is feared that if passed, the legislation could result in increased discrimination and intolerance towards trans people. It is thought many people may try to leave the country, while others could face daily humiliations, with it being necessary to show your ID in Hungary just to rent a bike or buy a bus pass.

The proposed legislation comes after the government has become increasingly hostile towards the LGBTQ+ in recent years.

It has been suggested that if passed, the legislation could be open to challenge in both the Hungarian Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 

The degree of legal recognition provided to transgender people varies widely around the world. Most countries in Europe give transgender people the right to change their first name at least and most allow people to change their birth certificates. Some European countries recognise the right of transgender people to marry in accordance with their post-operative sex, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Croatia and others.

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