LGBT Rights in Hungary
Homosexual activity above the age of 20 was decriminalized in 1961, then above the age of 18 in 1978 by the new penal code. The age of consent, which is 14, has applied equally to heterosexual and homosexual activity since a Constitutional Court decision of 2002. Gay and bisexual people are not banned from military service.
Unregistered cohabitation has been recognised since 1996. It applies to any couple living together in an economic and sexual relationship (common-law marriage), including same-sex couples. No official registration is required. The law gives some specified rights and benefits to two persons living together. These rights and benefits are not automatically given – they must be applied for to the social department of the local government in each case. Unregistered cohabitation is defined in the Civil Code as “Partners – if not stipulated otherwise by law – are two people living in an emotional and economic community in the same household without being married or having entered into registered partnership.” Inheritance is possible only with testament, widow-pension is available for couples cohabiting for more than 10 years.
Adoption by individuals is legal regardless of sexual orientation, but same-sex couples cannot jointly adopt, or adopt their partner’s biological child.
On 17 December 2007 the Parliament adopted a registered partnership bill submitted by the Hungarian Socialist Party-Alliance of Free Democrats government. Since 1 July 2009 same-sex couples can enter into registered partnerships. The law gives the same rights to registered partners as to spouses except for adoption, IVF access, surrogacy or taking a surname.
On January 1, 2012, a new constitution enacted by the government of Viktor Orbán, leader of the ruling Fidesz party, came into effect, restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples and containing no guarantees of protection from discrimination on account of sexual orientation. Note, however, that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation remains banned through statute, even if it is not constitutionally banned.
In contrast with more conservative Central European countries such as Poland and Slovakia, Hungary appears to be a much more tolerant society as far as gay rights and acceptance of GLBT people are concerned.
In 2000, the Constitutional Court recognized that the Constitutional ban on discrimination based on “other status” covers sexual orientation as well. There exists an anti-discrimination law in the Act on Public Health since 1997. The 2003 Act on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities forbids discrimination based on factors that include sexual orientation and sexual identity in the fields of employment, education, housing, health, and access to goods and services.
Hungary was the host country of Mr Gay Europe 2007 contest and the Eurogames in 2012.
Budapest Pride was the first such event in the former communist region of Europe, and draws a steady, but moderate number of LGBT people and their supporters. The LGBT festival lasts a week every summer with a film festival, pride march and parties across the city. The Festival was opened in the past by notable public figures including Gábor Demszky, mayor of Budapest and Kinga Göncz, Minister of foreign affairs.