On 10 November, Hungary’s Minister of Justice Judit Varga unveiled a bill that will almost certainly become the ninth modification to the Basic Law of Hungary adopted in 2011.
This reactionary piece of legislation adds to the already shameful article which defines the state’s conception of “the family” that “the mother is a woman, and the father is a man”.
A further amendment proclaims that “Hungary protects children’s right to identify as the sex they were born with, and ensures their upbringing based on our national self-identification and Christian culture”.
The Hungarian language does not differentiate between “gender” and “sex”, and uses the same word for both. Since we’re witnessing prime minister Orbán’s newest display of piety, it’s also worth noting that it also has just one word for both “crime” and “sin”.
The amendment also contains modifications perhaps more important to Orbán’s ruling clique than the defence of Christian values: it narrows the definition of public funds. This means that various foundations and corporations receiving government funds may not have to disclose how they spent that money.
Another modification further cements their grip on various foundations dealing with public interests — such as the one managing Corvinus University, and SZFE — by requiring a two-thirds majority to make any meaningful decisions about them. This way, even if they are voted out, they retain economic and cultural power.
That the demonisation of transgender people and sexual minorities is a cynical ploy to distract the population from what the ruling Fidesz party is doing should be obvious to everyone. Since Orbán has a lot on his plate with Covid, and the looming economic crisis caused by it, unfortunately we can expect more posturing in the future.