Statement of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights on the Occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we commemorate the fact in numerous countries of the world that it has been over three decades now that the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. The ombudsman institution has always placed great emphasis on acting to protect equal human dignity, and to ensure that all people belonging to vulnerable groups can exercise their fundamental rights equally and free of discrimination.

The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights underlined: as it is demonstrated in numerous Hungarian and international documents, sexual orientation and gender identity are part of every person’s dignity and human nature, and they may not, under any circumstances, serve as grounds for discrimination or harassment. Sexual orientation is a characteristic at the core of human identity which can be lived freely. The assumption and expression of gender identity is a fundamental human right deriving from the right to human dignity. According to the practice of the Constitutional Court, the protection of same-sex couples' right to a lasting partnership also derives from the right to human dignity, the right to self-determination and the right to the free development of personality.

Equal treatment is not self-evident even in European countries: research published last year by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights shows that discrimination persists in the lives of sexual minorities. 43 percent of the respondents reported to have been victims of negative discrimination in the year prior to the survey, while this proportion was 60 percent among transgender respondents. Persons assuming their identity are faced with harassment as well: the majority (58%) of those asked have been insulted, threatened or humiliated over the past five years. 

Creating truly equal rights is the shared responsibility of each and every public body. In this context, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights considers it his priority to help ensure that all persons, regardless of their colour, age, sex, health condition, sexual orientation, gender identity and any other protected characteristic, could live in a safe and inclusive environment.