Hungary rejects EU domestic violence treaty for ‘gender as social construct’ language
BUDAPEST, May 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Hungary is refusing to ratify a Council of Europe human rights treaty on combating violence against women and domestic violence because its definition of “gender” denies there are only two sexes and because it could open the door to illegal immigration.
Hungary’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly last week not to ratify the Istanbul Convention because of its “unacceptable approach to defining gender” and to lobby the European Union to do the same, according to About Hungary, a website run by the Cabinet office of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.
So named because it was opened for signing in Istanbul in May 2011, the Istanbul Convention is the first binding treaty “to prevent and combat violence against women, from marital rape to female genital mutilation.” Hungary signed the document in 2014, according to the U.K.’s Guardian.
However, the governing Fidesz party backed a declaration put forward May 6 by its junior coalition partner, the Christian Democrats, not to ratify the treaty because it promotes gender ideology, and because its gender-based asylum measures promoted illegal immigration.
“Had the Convention stuck to the protection of women’s rights, Hungary would have been among the first countries to ratify it and adopt corresponding domestic legislation,” wrote Zoltan Kovacs, Hungary’s secretary of state for public diplomacy and relations, in a Thursday blog post on the government website.
According to Kovacs, Hungary has already incorporated most of the treaty’s recommendations on protecting women from violence into its national laws but cannot accept other measures that run “counter” to the country’s constitution.
Notably, the Istanbul Convention defines “gender” as “socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men,” said Kovacs.
“This ‘social gender’ definition, however, conflicts with Hungary’s constitution because the clause denies that there are only two biological genders, male and female,” he said.
“Without biological genders, for example, Hungary’s constitutional definition of marriage (the matrimony of a man and a woman) would become void. And if something contradicts the Fundamental Law, it cannot be adopted by Parliament.”
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Hungary’s coalition government also objected to Article 60, which requires that signatories “take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that gender-based violence against women may be recognized as a form of persecution.”
However, this could “clearly lead to a dramatic increase in the number of migrants who set out westward to Europe,” Kovacs said.
Articles 60 and 61 could also be interpreted to “automatically grant ‘gender-based asylum’ to applicants,” he added.
If Hungary ratified the European treaty, it might then “under certain conditions” be compelled “to grant entry to illegal migrants on grounds that run contrary to Hungary’s well-established policy of discouraging and putting an end to migration.”
Orbán, who has been prime minister of Hungary since 2010, declared in his 2018 State of the Nation speech that “Christianity is Europe’s last hope” and warned that European countries that have encouraged migration “opened the way to the decline of Christian culture and the advance of Islam.”
“By refusing the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, Hungary, says ‘Yes!’ to the protection of women but ‘No!’ to gender ideology and illegal migration,” stated Kovacs.
Hungary’s rejection of the Istanbul Convention comes in the wake of controversy over a bill it introduced in early April to define gender solely as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes.”
The proposed law would limit identifying persons in official documents to their sex recorded at birth — a classification that would then be legally impossible to change.
The bill sparked massive backlash from the LGBT lobby, which accused the Orbán government of discrimination for no longer allowing Hungarians to choose their preferred gender identity, as LifeSiteNews reported last week.
Critics also claimed that Orbán was using the additional powers Parliament granted him to deal with the coronavirus pandemic to push through the legislation.
Most recently, the United States watchdog organization Freedom House released a report Wednesday downgrading Hungary from a democracy to a “transitional/hybrid regime” in which citizens allegedly face “substantial challenges” to rights and liberties, reported Germany’s international news site Deutsche Welle.
Zovacs responded by alleging on Twitter that Freedom House has ties to Hungarian-born globalist billionaire George Soros, the Orbán government’s bête noire, and contending that “[a]nyone who doesn’t conform to their liberal view, gets downgraded.”
In an apparent effort to curtail Soros’s interference in Hungary’s politics, the Orbán government introduced a measure in 2017 to audit all foreign organizations.
At the time, the Soros Open Society Foundations (OSF) funded more than 60 Hungarian NGOs and had spent more than $1.6 billion in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union over the last 30 years.