|SC||Variations of sex characteristics|
|GR1||Legal gender recognition without self-determination|
|GR2||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (over 16)|
|GR3||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (under 16)|
|FPN||LGBTI focal points network|
|CA||Ministerial call to action|
The Act on Equal Treatment and The Promotion of Equal Opportunities (2003) identifies specific characteristics protected against discrimination, including sexual orientation and gender identity (seelist in Article 8). It defines neither term, though, it lists them separately. Article 3 requires that institutions of elementary and higher education shall observe the principle of equal treatment, and Article 27 further explains that equal treatment extends to any education carried out in accordance with requirements of the State or whose organisation is supported by the State. Article 27 explicitly prohibits segregation of a group and bans extracurricular activities or organisations whose objective is to exclude or otherwise discriminate against protected groups.
Following this act, the Hungarian government established the Equal Treatment Authority (“ETA”) in 2005 as an autonomous administrative body. The ETA has found discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation as applied to education. In 2014, for example, it fined a school that refused entrance to a 13-year-old boy because he was being brought up by lesbian parents (the school’s purported justification was to protect the child from bullying).
There does not appear to be a broad national policy or action plan to tackle homophobic, biphobic, transphobic or interphobic bullying, or promote LGBTQI inclusion. In 2012, Hungary enacted a new constitution that limited marriage to opposite-sex couples and did not explicitly identify sexual orientation or gender identity as protected characteristics.
The national curriculum includes elements on anti-discrimination, but it does not specifically address topics related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or variations in sex characteristics. The 2013 version of specific curricula for school subjects mentioned these topics occasionally, but often in heteronormative or homophobic manner. A Ministerial Decree issued in 2017 eliminated all content related to gender, gender diversity, gender identity and sexual orientation from the curricula. According to this decree, only biological sex differences between men and women and complimentary gender roles are supposed to be discussed in school.
There is currently no mandatory teacher training on LGBTQI awareness.
The Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, however, offers two courses on diversity which are part of the teacher training curriculum (mandatory for all teaching students). In the course “Pedagogical experiences and approaches, representations of children, and individual specificities”, diversityand inclusionare mentioned, and usually LGBT youth is part of its content. The course “Everybody’s society – everybody’s school” may as well include LGBT youth issues, but it is more dependent on the professor.
There are no codified legal or administrative proceedings to change name or gender marker. Due to a constitutional court ruling, however, there is an avenue for potentially achieving this, but it is a long, difficult process, lacking in guidance or regulation, and with no guarantee of a positive result. A person who wishes to change their name and gender marker needs to have a psychological evaluation, complete significant amounts of paperwork, and submit a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which may still be denied.
Until November 2016, upon request, the Ministry of Human Resources gave permission for gender and name change, based on the opinion of three experts (psychologist, psychiatrist and urologist/gynaecologist), and commissioned registrars to issue a new birth certificate for the person in question. In November 2016 the Ministry suspended this procedure, saying they were working on a new regulation. In December 2017 there was still no new regulation, but registrars are allowed to issue new birth certificates. As there is no regulation, and many registrars are unfamiliar with the procedure, however, they often refuse to issue new birth certificates for trans people.
The government does not collect data on homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and interphobic bullying.
The government provides no specific support systems for LGBTQI learners or their families.
There is no specific information for LGBTQI learners or guidance for the education sector on how to address bullying and harassment against LGBTQI students.
The government does not provide support to LGBTQI NGOs in relation to education. Despite this, civil society organisations continue to develop important work in the field of education. The programme ‘Getting to Know LGBT People’ offers lessons at teacher training colleges (when invited by individual professors) and at secondary schools (also based on invitations by individual teachers or other school staff) to raise awareness on LGBTQI inclusion.
– Hungary has not signed the Call for Action by Ministers – Inclusive and equitable education for all learners in an environment free from discrimination and violence.
– Hungary is not a member of the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network.
When the “Getting to Know LGBT People” school program was launched in 2000, the Education Minister gave a speech in Parliament in which he suggested that all school directors throw the information letter they received about the program into the dustbin. A few years ago, there was a series of articles in one of the right-wing daily papers (Magyar Nemzet) which mentioned the program in an unfavourable light, as part of the so-called “gender-ideology”. This is the latest conservative approach seen in many European countries to create panic and fear around more liberal teaching materials. A teacher who invited the programme in 2016 wanted to have the lesson outside the school because he was afraid that the school director would cause problems if he found out about the invitation. The organisation declined to visit the school in such a manner.
“Getting to Know LGBT People” school program, by Labrisz Lesbian Association and Szimpozion Association
Covers: SO and GIE
The program visits schools and facilitates lessons about LGBT people’s lives, specific issues affecting LGBT people, homophobic and transphobic bullying, discrimination and diversity in school.
School Living Library
Covers: SO and GIE
Adapting the Danish method of the Living Library, this project, run by the Council of Europe, gives an opportunity for children to talk in small groups to members of various minorities, including LGBTQ people and their family members.
Together Against School Bullying
Covers: SO and GIE
A cooperation of four NGOs (including LGBTQI organization Háttér) to reduce homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic and racist bullying in schools. Based on an online study of occurrences of prejudice-based bullying in secondary schools, they compiled a guidance note for secondary schools, including theoretical approaches to prejudice-based bullying and good practices from Hungary and abroad, as well as worked out a training for teachers on the topic.
Háttér research about homophobia in schools
Háttér Society has conducted two studies on homophobia in education. In 2012, in a project funded by ILGA-Europe, it studied how secondary and university coursebooks depicted homosexuality. In 2017 it conducted an online survey about the school experiences of LGBTQI youth.