LGBT rights in Hungary

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LGBT rights in Hungary
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Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1961,
age of consent equalized in 2002
Gender identity/expression -
Recognition of
Unregistered cohabitation since 1996,
registered partnerships since 2009;
no same-sex marriage
Adoption No joint adoption by same-sex couples; no adoption of same-sex partner's child
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation protection (see below)

The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people in Hungary have evolved through Hungarian history.

Laws against homosexuality

The first Hungarian penal code (1878) punished homosexuality between men ("természet elleni fajtalanság" – perverse fornication) with prison to 1 year . 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.

Recognition of same-sex relationships

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." 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, same sex couples cannot jointly adopt, or adopt their partner's biological child. One poll indicated that 30 percent of the Hungarian public supports same-sex marriage.[1] However, according to a Eurobarometer survey published on December 2006, 18 percent of Hungarians surveyed support same-sex marriage and 13 percent recognize same-sex couple's right to adopt, compared to the EU-wide average of 44 percent and 33 percent, respectively.[2]

On December 17, 2007 the Parliament adopted a registered partnership bill submitted by the MSZP-SZDSZ government. Since July 1, 2009 same-sex couples can enter into registered partnership. The law gives the same rights to registered partners as to spouses except for adoption, IVF access, surrogacy or taking a surname.[3][4]

Discrimination protections

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.

Living conditions

Hungary was the host country of Mr Gay Europe 2007 contest and will host the Eurogames in 2012.

Budapest Pride was the first such event in the ex-communist blocs, 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.

See also

  • Mások (monthly GLBT magazine)


  1. "Hűvös fogadtatás: Közvélemény a homoszexuálisok megítélésérÅ‘l", Medián, 2007-07-11. (Hungarian) 
  2. "Eight EU Countries Back Same-Sex Marriage", Angus Reid Global Monitor, 2006-12-24. Retrieved on 2008-03-16. 
  3. "Hungary approves partnership legislation",, 2007-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-03-16. 
  4. "Hungary legalizes same-sex civil partnerships", Reuters, 2007-12-18. Retrieved on 2008-03-16. 

External links


*Some information provided in whole or in part by