Budapest, December 16, 2020
Hungary’s parliament passed a law on Tuesday that effectively bans adoption by same-sex couples.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz Party enjoys a two-thirds majority in Parliament, and its proposed legislation easily passed. According to the new law, only married couples can adopt children, or single people with special permission from the Family Affairs Minister, reports Reuters.
Although gay civil unions are permitted in Hungary, gay marriage is not, and thus same-sex couples are effectively banned from adopting children.
According to the Washington Post, gay couples were previously able to adopt by having one partner apply as a single person, but the new law halts that practice.
Prime Minister Orbán has positioned himself and Hungary as defenders of Christianity. Europe can only be saved if it “returns to the source of its real values: its Christian identity,” he said at a conference on Christian persecution last year.
What Europe needs most is “Christian faith, love, and perseverance,” he said, adding that, “The Hungarian people and their government believe that Christian virtues provide peace and happiness to those who practice them.”
In 2016, Hungary became the first country to open an office specifically to deal with the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe.
One of the main forces behind the new adoption legislation, Justice Minister Judit Varga, writes of it as protecting the institution of marriage:
Hungary protects the institution of marriage as a cohabitation between a man and a woman, based on voluntary decision, and the family as the basis for the survival of the nation. The basis of the family relationship is the marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man.
Of course, the law has its critics as well. “This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” David Vig, director of Amnesty International Hungary, said.
In May, Hungary also banned legal gender recognition, meaning people cannot change the gender they were designated with at birth.
The Hungarian government has also been generous with the Orthodox Church. In February 2017, the government allocated $8.1 million to the Russian Church’s Hungarian Diocese for restoring and constructing churches; in July 2017, it allocated $1.7 million to help restore damaged and dilapidated churches in Lebanon; and in August 2017, it donated a complex of buildings in central Budapest to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and also purchased a parish building for the Russian Church.