Hungary’s Parliament bans changes to birth certificates of transgender people

By a more than 2-1 margin, Hungary’s Parliament voted to enact a law that prohibits individuals from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates. The 134-56 vote officially codifies a person’s “sex at birth” registered on birth certificates as the gender to be reflected on all state identity documents.

The legislation does not prohibit an individual from freely exercising their identity in ways that do not conform to their official sex, however, according to a statement from the government.

“In no way does the relevant section of the bill that some people criticize prevent any person from exercising their fundamental rights arising from their human dignity or from living according their identity, just as the state cannot normatively instruct anybody what to think,” the statement said.

Pro-transgender groups like Amnesty International blasted the decision as harmful and destructive.

“This decision pushes Hungary back towards the dark ages and tramples the rights of transgender and intersex people. It will not only expose them to further discrimination but will also deepen an already intolerant and hostile environment faced by the LGBTI community,” Amnesty International researcher Krisztina Tamas-Saroy said in a statement.

Under Hungarian law, the newly enacted statute could be challenged in the Hungarian Constitutional Court.

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