Statement by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
On May 17, which is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we traditionally declare our commitment to the equality of sexual minorities in over 130 countries. In his statement, the Ombudsman underlined that one should learn from the tragic experiences of history, i.e. sexual identity and sexual orientation can never be the grounds for discrimination or stigmatization.
In line with the international human rights documents, the Hungarian laws stipulate the requirement of equal treatment, as well as the concept of human dignity, which everyone is entitled to. 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. The disclosure and expression of one’s sexual identity are a fundamental human right arising from the right to human dignity. In line with the decisions of the Constitutional Court, the protection of the long-term relationships of same-sex couples arises from the right to human dignity, the right of self-determination, as well as the right to self-expression.
It is a priority task of each state body and institution to promote a discrimination-free society, to protect sexual minorities and transsexual persons against any form of discrimination. However, equal treatment cannot even be taken for granted in the European countries: the research findings of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights have shown that 8 out of 10 respondents received offending, degrading comments regarding these characteristic traits of theirs when they were at school, and 66% of them do not dare disclose their relationships in public as adults either. Stereotypical thinking and prejudices against persons with a sexual identity or sexual orientation which is different from that of the mainstream are still rather strong, despite the fact that homosexuality was deleted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders more than twenty-five years ago, on this day. It cannot be stressed enough that abusing sexual minorities, depriving them of their fundamental rights is always unacceptable from the perspective of universal human rights. We must learn from the tragic experiences of history: gender identity and sexual orientation cannot be the grounds for discrimination or stigmatization any more: however, there is still a long way to go to achieve this goal, by consistently standing up for fundamental rights and constitutional values, as well as committedly protecting the rights of those people whose rights are violated.