Ben HaywardDecember 17th

The Hungarian government has passed a law effectively banning gay couples from adopting children after adding the phrase 'the mother is a woman, the father is a man' into its constitution.

MPs approved the new measures on Tuesday December 15th with campaigners said the decision represented 'a dark day for Hungary's LGBTQ community'.

Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, said the change will counter 'new ideological processes in the West' and will 'protect children against possible ideological or biological interference’.

Changes also mean that a child’s sex is defined as that which is assigned to them at birth, as the right-wing government claims it is trying to ensure 'the upbringing of children according to Christian culture'.

However, Amnesty International says the changes are in fact in breach of human rights, with a statement on the amendments reading: “The proposed provisions also contradict Hungary's international human rights obligations. 

“Under international law, Hungary is obligated to respect the dignity of every individual without discrimination and their right to private and family life."

David Vig, Director of Amnesty Hungary, said: "This is a dark day for Hungary's LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights.

"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 new law means that adoption is now restricted to heterosexual couples and any exceptions, including single people wanting to adopt a child, will need to be approved on a case-by-case basis.

The move comes as part of an ongoing  attack on LGBTQ+ rights by the Hungarian government over the last few years.

A government decree in 2018 prevented universities from teaching courses about gender, in October this year Orban said that gay people should 'leave our children alone', when discussing a children's book that featured gay characters, and in May 2020 a ban was introduced making it illegal for a person to change their sex observed at birth on official documents - a move that was criticised by trans-rights groups at the time.

Masen Davis, Executive Director at Transgender Europe said: "Earlier this year, Hungary made it impossible for trans people to change their names and legal gender marker. We are deeply concerned for the health and safety of trans children and adults in Hungary in such a hostile climate."

Meanwhile in the UK, the rules surrounding blood donation for gay and bisexual men are to be relaxed in what the government calls a ‘landmark change’.

The new criteria are to shift focus onto individual behaviours, removing a blanket ban that has been in place for any men who have had sex with men in the last three months and meaning that men who are in long-term relationships will now be able to donate blood at any time.

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