Statement by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputies on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

On May 17, 1990, homosexuality was deleted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that from this day, sexual orientation which is different from the mainstream does not qualify as a disorder.

According to the decisions adopted by the Constitutional Court, gender identity and sexual orientation are the constituent parts of the multicolored human personality, a characteristic feature that is at the core of one’s personality, is unchangeable, on the grounds of which no one should be discriminated against. This is guaranteed by numerous laws both in Hungary and all over Europe. Still, it is very important to commemorate this day each year, all the more so because unfortunately, the research findings indicate that the members of sexual minorities still often encounter discrimination, verbal or physical abuse and they suffer from the everyday manifestations of prejudice on a painfully high number of occasions as well. This is why it comes as no surprise that many conceal their identity and frequently live in hiding and fear, even from the people of their immediate environment or their work colleagues. For example, the research findings of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights have shown that as many as 67% of those concerned do not disclose their sexual orientation in front of their peers and teachers. However, hiding and prejudice create a vicious circle: until the members of the majority society are confronted with the different sexual orientation or gender identity of the persons who live right next to them, who work or study with them, who cure or teach them, they may only have a simplified view to confirm their prejudice rather than seeing reality in its full diversity.

This means that the existence of clear statutory frameworks in itself is not sufficient: this is well illustrated by the fact that the majority of the victims of abuse do not turn to the authorities or state institutions for legal remedy or support. It is in this spirit that we should take further efforts to win and strengthen the confidence of the affected persons, to create such a safe and liveable environment where sexual orientation is not a stigma but only one feature of the multicolored personality of these persons - although an important one with regard to the right to human dignity.

 

Dr. László Székely

Commissioner for Fundamental Rights

 

Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay

Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities

 

Dr. Gyula Bándi

Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for Future Generations