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Hungarian Gays Not Dejected by Court Ruling Outlawing Registered Partnerships



This article is only available in English. For online instant translation in selected other languages, see below.






 Set-back?  Yes.  Disaster?  No.

That is the verdict of gay activists in Hungary following yesterday’s pronouncement by the Hungarian Constitutional Court that the law granting registered partnerships to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples was unconstitutional.

The law was passed 12 months ago and was due to come into effect next month.

What the learned justices of the Court decided was that the constitutional ‘fault’ of the new law was that heterosexual couples already had the civil marriage option open to them – and the partnership law duplicates marriage, which contradicts the existing provision of marriage in the constitution.

The good news for gay and lesbian couples is that the court had no problem with registered partnerships for same-sex couples.

According to activist Dombos Tamás, the court “confirmed that the right of same-sex couples to legal recognition and protection can be derived from the constitutional principle of human dignity, and the related rights to self-determination and freedom of action”.

“The Court explicitly refused arguments in the petitions that registered partnership for same sex couples would undermine heterosexual marriage, since married couples are not affected negatively by granting similar rights to another group,” he pointed out.

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsny was quick to instruct the Minister of Justice and Law Enforcement to prepare new legislation based on the opinion of the Constitutional Court.

And, if passed by Parliament, this could be introduced quickly as all the preparation work has already been done.

In the original legislation, registered partnerships in Hungary gave most rights enjoyed in civil marriage.  However the rights to take the partners’ name and to adopt children are not included.




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.  

Posted: 16 December 2008 at 12:30 (UK time)


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