May 19 (UPI) -- Hungary's parliament voted Tuesday to approve new legislation that bans legal recognition of transgender people.
The bill was passed in a 134-56 vote, with four abstentions and Hungary's President Janos Ader, a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose national-conservative Fidesz party pushed the legislation through, is likely to sign it into law.
It defines gender based on biology of chromosomes assigned at birth, banning the ability for transgender and intersex to legally change gender identity on official documents. It also means that those on a wait list for legal procedures to change genders will be rejected after such procedures have already been frozen for about two years. Furthermore, critics say it will lead to more discrimination against transgender and intersex people.
"Almost two years after the suspension of gender and name change requests, Parliament has passed a bill that prohibits the legal gender recognition of transgender people," the Hatter Society, a Hungarian trans rights group said in a statement in response to the bill's passage. "Although the European Parliament, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and other international players opposed the bill, the government did not refrain from introducing a law violating a constitutional fundamental right. LGBTI organizations have now turned to the president of the Republic asking him to send the law for review to the Constitutional Court."
Amnesty International, which campaigns to end human rights abuses, also spoke out against the decision.
"This decision pushes Hungary back towards the dark ages and tramples the rights of transgender and intersex people," Amnesty International researcher Krisztina Tamas-Saroy said in a statement. "It will not only expose them to further discrimination but will also deepen an already intolerant and hostile environment faced by the LGBTI community."
"It's critical for Hungary's Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to act urgently and request the Constitutional Court review and swiftly annuls the appalling provisions of this law," Tamas-Saroy added. "Everyone's gender identity should be legally recognized and everyone must be allowed to change their legal name and gender markers on all official documents."