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Hungary effectively bans same-sex couples from adopting children

Participants march during the 22nd Budapest Pride LGBTQ Festival in Budapest in 2017. On Tuesday, Hungary altered its Constitution, effectively banning same-sex couples from adopting children. Photo by Zoltan Mathe/EPA-EFE
Participants march during the 22nd Budapest Pride LGBTQ Festival in Budapest in 2017. On Tuesday, Hungary altered its Constitution, effectively banning same-sex couples from adopting children. Photo by Zoltan Mathe/EPA-EFE

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Hungary on Tuesday altered its Constitution to effectively ban adoption by same-sex couples.

The constitutional change allows only married couples and single people who receive special permission from the government to adopt children. Hungary does not permit same-sex marriage.

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Previously, gay couples were able to adopt children by having one partner apply as a single person, but the change ended this practice.

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

Justice Minister Judit Varga on Tuesday wrote in a Facebook post that the changes protect "the institution of marriage as a cohabitation between a man and a woman."

"The basis of the family relationship is the marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man," wrote Varga.

Under Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the ruling Fidesz Party, Hungary has made a number of legal changes limiting the rights of LGBTQ people, including banning transgender people from changing how they were designated at birth.

Another amendment approved Tuesday changed an article of the Constitution focused on childhood development, adding new language that "protects the right of children to self-identify according to their gender of birth."

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"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," Vig said.

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