Hungary’s Proposed Anti-Trans Bill: A Blow to LGBT Rights and Rule of Law

hungary's proposed anti trans bill a blow to lgbt rights and rule of law

hungary’s proposed anti trans bill a blow to lgbt rights and rule of law

The Hungarian government recently submitted a bill to bar transgender women from a women’s-only pension program, a worrying development for the rights of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Hungary. This action is perceived as the government’s latest attempt to weaken the country’s protections and rights for the LGBT community. The draft bill, scheduled to be introduced in parliament in September, has sparked severe worries about discrimination, power misuse, and infringement on European principles.

The Hungarian government presented a draft bill on July 13 that would bar transgender women from the women’s-only pension program. Following a recent court decision, transgender women were allowed to participate in the program, designed for women who have worked for 40 years but have not yet reached retirement age. The court order forced the local government to accept a transsexual woman as a woman, making her eligible for the pension benefit.

The ruling Fidesz party in Hungary was incensed by the court’s decision to allow transgender women access to the women’s-only pension program. High-ranking party members criticised the judge publicly, while pro-government media sources promoted homophobic and transphobic messages. The government has often attempted to change legislation to circumvent the courts in response to adverse court decisions, creating concerns about the rule of law being undermined.

The new legislation discriminates against transgender women with a gender marker change. The Hungarian government is violating the fundamental rights of transgender people by refusing them access to the women-only pension plan and fostering intolerance in the nation.

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Furthermore, the measure violates shared European norms and principles, which is at odds with established case law from the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). Since the EU has long fought to protect human rights and equality for its citizens, other EU member states are alarmed by Hungary’s disrespect for these ideals.

Several recent anti-LGBT occurrences in Hungary, including this anti-trans bill, reflect a worrying trend of weakening rights and protections for the LGBT community. The Consumer Protection Authority punished a well-known bookstore for neglecting to wrap a webcomic with LGBT content on the same day the bill was put down. A 2021 anti-LGBT law that forbids the showing of LGBT content to youngsters is the cause of this occurrence. In 2022, the European Commission cited this law’s breach of fundamental LGBT rights as justification for referring it to the CJEU. In response to these events, over 35,000 people marched in Budapest on July 15 in support of LGBT people’s rights in Hungary and to show their fervent opposition to prejudice.

The proposed anti-trans measure in Hungary serves as a sharp reminder of the country’s ongoing LGBT rights struggles and the necessity for continual efforts to safeguard all people’s rights and liberties. In addition to discriminating against transgender women, the measure is a prime example of how the government abuses its authority and weakens the rule of law. The European Commission should seriously consider opening infringement procedures against Hungary in reaction to these measures and imposing sanctions on the nation in accordance with Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union. The rights of every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, must be protected, and the EU and its member states must remain steadfast in defending the values of equality, human rights, and non-discrimination.

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