by Rex Wockner
On Feb. 11, Hungary’s government signed off on a new registered-partnership bill to replace one that was struck down as unconstitutional just before it was to take effect on Jan. 1.
The Constitutional Court said the previous measure was unconstitutional because it would have given the rights of marriage to opposite-sex couples who are not married, violating the special protection granted to marriage by the constitution.
The new bill proposes registered partnership only for same-sex couples and would grant them the rights of marriage except in the areas of adoption and the taking of one’s spouse’s last name.
Whether Parliament will pass the new bill is unclear. Hungary has had a minority government since the Liberals left the governing coalition early last year.
“Based on ‘parliamentary mathematics,’ the bill has a high chance of being passed,” said activist Tamas Dombos of the Hatter Society for LGBT People. “Governing parties hardly ever vote against proposals by their own government and the Liberals fully support the new bill. It is, however, very hard to predict how delicate negotiations involved in running a minority government will affect voting on the bill.”