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Hungary Passes Anti-Gay Law

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Jan 27, 2012

Hungary officials recently passed a new pro-family law, despite receiving harsh criticism that the legislation would infringe on gay rights and abortion.

The new law, which protects the "traditional family," states that married heterosexual couples that wish to raise children is an "Autonomous community...established before the emergence of law and the State" and that the "Embryonic and fetal life shall be entitled to protection and respect from the moment of conception, and the state should encourage 'homely circumstances' for child care," reported the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute in a Jan. 26 article.

Additionally, the new law requires that the media "respect" the "traditional family" and allows parents to fully protect their child's rights instead of relying on the State.

The legislation aims "to create a predictable and safe regulatory environment for family protection and the promotion of family welfare, and to enforce the Fundamental Law." The country's constitution says that marriage is the "conjugal union of man and woman," and protects life from conception.

A number of human rights groups were outraged by Hungary's new law and heavily criticized the legislation.

The global human rights organization, Amnesty International, said that the marriage law "may pave the way to the introduction of an explicit ban on same-sex marriages which contravenes international and European anti-discrimination standards...enshrined by Article 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)."

Human Rights Watch said that the non-discrimination clause for "race, color, sex, disability, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or any other circumstance whatsoever" does not include sexual orientation or gender identity, which the Human Rights Watch says was guaranteed in the ICCPR.

Although Hungary does not recognize gay marriage it has allowed same-sex couples enter into unions since 2009. Before it was legalized in 2009, the Hungarian Parliament tried to pass a similar law but the country's Constitutional Court vetoed it because it provided partnership registration for heterosexuals, which challenged the Hungarian constitution's definition of marriage, EDGE reported in a Feb. 2009 article.

Hungary does not allow gays to adopt children but does permit them to serve openly in the military.

Although gay marriage is not legal in Hungary the European Union, of which Hungary is part, has recognized same-sex marriage in five countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, German, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and the United Kingdom have legalized civil unions.


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