Hungary passes constitutional amendment defining marriage as between man and woman, bans gay adoption
The eastern European nation of Hungary has passed a constitutional amendment that will preserve the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The Ninth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, the country’s equivalent of a constitution, was passed in Parliament last week by a margin of 134-45. The amendment, which was backed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, will amend Section L paragraph (1) of the Fundamental Law to read: “Hungary protects the institution of marriage as the association between a man and a woman and the family as the basis for the survival of a nation. The foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man.”
“The main rule is that only married couples can adopt a child, that is, a man and woman who are married,” said Justice Minister Judit Varga, Reuters reported.
Varga, who sent the amendment to Parliament last month, said it will also work to provide “all children with an education based on the values of the Christian culture of Hungary and guarantees the undisturbed development of the child according to their gender at birth,” Hungary Today noted.
“The Fundamental Law of Hungary is a living framework that expresses the will of the nation, the form in which we want to live,” Varga wrote in the justification section of the bill. “However, the ‘modern’ set of ideas that make all traditional values, including the two sexes, relative is a growing concern.”
“The constant threat to the natural laws of the forms and content of human communities, to the concepts arising from the order of Creation that harmonize with them and ensure the survival of communities, and, in some cases, the attempt to formulate them with a content contrary to the original raises doubts as to whether the interests, rights and well-being of future generations can be protected along the lines of the values of the Fundamental Law,” she added.
The passage of the Ninth Amendment comes less than a year after Parliament voted in favor of a measure that defines gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes.” Like the measure preserving the traditional definition of sex, the Ninth Amendment faced strong pushback from LGBT advocacy groups.
“This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” said David Vig, director of Amnesty Hungary. “These discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws — rushed through under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic — are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities.”
The government of Hungary, led by Orban, has worked to uphold the influence of Christianity on its laws and culture as much of the rest of Europe continues to become more secular. Orban previously described Christianity as “Europe’s last hope.”
Hungary was one of the 31 other countries that joined the U.S. in signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which asserts that “there is no international right to abortion.” Rather than rely on immigration to counteract the country’s declining birth rates, the Hungarian government implemented pro-family policies designed to incentivize people to have children.
The United States tried and failed to pass the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would have enshrined the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman into the U.S. Constitution, in 2006. At the time, several states had passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage in response to a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
Less than a decade later, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the constitutional amendments, declaring that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. Of the 29 countries that have legalized same-sex marriage, more than half of them are in Europe.