‘Panic’ as Hungarian parliament bans trans people from changing gender on IDs

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05/19/2020

Hungary’s parliament voted Tuesday to ban transgender people from changing their gender on identity documents, in a move that LGBT+ advocates said was creating panic among trans people who feared an increase in discrimination and attacks. The legislature voted 133 to 57 to replace the Hungarian word “nem”, meaning sex or gender, with “sex at birth” on birth, marriage and death certificates, which could expose trans people to harassment if their documents do not match their appearance. “The state’s decision … to register children’s biological sex in their birth certificates does not affect men’s and women’s right to freely experience and exercise their identities as they wish,” the government’s communications office said. Trans people in Hungary have been effectively unable to change the sex on their identity documents since 2018, according to LGBT+ rights advocates, who said there were already multiple court cases underway challenging that. “We have no words to describe what we feel,” Tina Korlos Orban, vice president of advocacy group Transvanilla Transgender Association, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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