Hungary Rejects Gender Theory in Constitutional Amendment

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The Hungarian parliament passed a measure this week amending the national constitution to more clearly enshrine the meaning of family and gender as traditionally understood.

In direct opposition to gender theory, the amended text states that “Hungary protects children’s right to an identity conforming to their birth gender and ensures education in accordance with the values ​​based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.”

The constitutional amendment — Hungary’s ninth — spells out the definition of family as “based on marriage and the parent-child relation. The mother is a woman, the father a man,” in what pro-family organizations are hailing as a victory for marriage in the midst of an increasingly hostile and ideologically charged environment.

Hungarian law already recognized marriage as a stable union between one man and one woman, but Tuesday’s amendment stipulates that only people in such a union are allowed to adopt children. Single people can only adopt children with special permission from the minister in charge of family affairs.

The amendment was approved by parliament with 134 votes in favor and 45 against; there were five abstentions. According to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s communications office, the Constitution “now protects a child’s right to identify with their gender at birth and an upbringing based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.”

An explanatory text accompanying the legislation states that western ideology is changing in a way that necessitates guaranteeing the child’s right to self-identity in line with their gender at birth in order to protect the child from mental or biological intervention affecting their physical and mental wellbeing.

Raising children according to Hungary’s “constitutional identity and Christian culture” gives new generations the chance to learn about Hungarian identity and “to protect its sovereignty as well as the national role of Christianity,” the communications office noted.

The amendment will also ensure that only married couples can adopt a child, guaranteeing every adopted child a mother and a father, whose roles are not interchangeable.

Pro-LGBT groups reacted fiercely against the amendment, insisting that it targeted them.

“This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” said David Vig, director of Amnesty Hungary.

Mr. Vig said that “these discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities.”

In August, 2018, the Hungarian government announced it was discontinuing programs in gender studies at state-run universities after determining the programs serve no identifiable purpose and are based on “ideology rather than science.”

Bence Rétvári, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI), said that university degrees must be rooted in a scientific basis, whereas gender studies, “like Marxist-Leninism,” are more aptly termed ideology than science and are inappropriate matter for university-level education.

A spokesman for the Hungarian government said that there is no demand for gender studies graduates in the Hungarian job market.

“There is no economic rationale for studies such as these,” he said, and nor does the program “furnish students with skills that can be readily and directly converted on the labour market.”

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