PRIDE: Equal rights – A survey by Pulzus

June is a celebration of Pride: the movement for the self-respect, dignity and equality for the LGBTQ+ community around the world. On this occasion, we will use thematic questionnaires to assess the opinions of our users in the Pulzus application, and we will analyze the collected data in a series of articles published on our website on a weekly basis.

Info corner: What is intersectionality?

The term was coined by black feminist and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how “individuals with multiple marginalized identities can experience multiple and unique forms of discrimination that cannot be conceptualised separately” (Crenshaw, 1989). The principle is that the different identity groups (e.g. women, blacks, gays) have neither homogeneous goals nor the same type and degree of discrimination they experience (e.g. sexism, racism, homophobia), but in reality they intersect.

The Western intersectional approach has changed a lot over the past fifty years, so it can be stated that the intersectionality of the ’70s does not fit perfectly into the meaning of the word today. At the same time, the basic concept remained that instead of legislating based on generally valid, lifeless principles, legislators should make decisions based on data from people’s experiences and real-life reports.

Intersectionality also allows for the coexistence of discrimination and privilege. Thus, a good example may be the case of a certain abdicated government politician who, after exposing his sexuality, did not fit into the Christian Democratic approach of the Hungarian government and became a member of both the privileged elite and the oppressed sexual minority groups. It is possible that legislation based on intersectionality would help to avoid situations like this.

“Child protection” amendment package

As mentioned in our previous article, the greatest barrier to the violent repression of LGBTQ+ communities was when the empathy of society allowed them to start informative and honest conversations about sexuality instead of shaming and taboo. The development of this discourse began in the US and the West as early as the ’80s, giving rise to a wealth of artistic and pop-culture content that advocated the social acceptability of sexual freedoms.

The media regulation introduced in Hungary that entered into force on 8 July 2021 (which many refer to as the homophobic law), is intended to limit this societal discourse again. This law requires an age rating of 18 for any programs and broadcasts that, according to the legislator’s wording, “… is capable of adversely affecting the physical, mental or moral development of minors, in particular by the fact that its defining element […] is the promotion, presentation or representation of a deviation from the self-identity corresponding to gender of birth, gender change and homosexuality, or the direct, natural or self-serving representation of sexuality”. Programs of this age rating can only be broadcast on television channels in certain, typically evening, time-bands.

What exactly counts as “promotion” or “self-serving representation” is not specified in the text, so many TV channels are puzzling over how to comply with this law. However, it has achieved its goal: audiovisual media, which have a great influence on the development of social discourse, have become discouraged from dealing with content that even traces of sexual freedoms, and it may be safer for them to completely eliminate or censor the subject. On the long run, however, the fear of what they do not know can creep into people’s minds again in Hungary, as they have a limited opportunity to learn about sexuality and gender. This measure may indirectly, but in the long term, lead to social exclusion again.

Marriage and parenthood

At present, same-sex marriage is legal in 29 countries around the world, and foreign marriage papers are accepted in 3 countries, even though they don’t allow for same-sex marriage within their own territory. In addition, in some countries (United Kingdom, Denmark), the legal consequences of a registered partnership are completely the same as marriage. Hungary does not fall into any of these categories. Although we have been able to recognize same-sex partnerships since 2009, this registered partnership does not guarantee all the rights that come with marriage. A partnership registered by the Hungarian authorities does not guarantee the right to take each other’s name, paternity protection, the right to adopt a partner’s child, the right for joint adoption and the right to artificial insemination.

These legal foundations provide the basis for discrimination in which neither the individual nor the partnership formed by these individuals is considered equal before the law to “traditional” heterosexual individuals and the relationship between them. This fundamental legal uncertainty is compounded by the Hungarian government’s narrative over the past ten years that “the mother is a woman, the father is a man” and that only this type of partnership can count as a family if a child is born. Together, this message and the legal context are a direct driver of social exclusion.

Weekly public opinion poll

In the third week of Pride Month, we asked the following questions on the Pulzus app:
• Do you think same-sex marriage should be allowed in Hungary?
• Do you support the fact that gay people in Hungary should have the same chance of adopting children as heterosexuals?
• Do you think members of the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary are adequately represented in government and legislation?

An interesting result of comparing the first and second questions was that 34% of the respondents do not support same-sex marriage in principle. However, 12% of them still support the equality of gays in adoption, and nearly 14% do not categorically reject equal opportunities for adoption for gay people.

Thus, it can be stated that roughly quarter of respondents not wishing to legalize same-sex marriage do not welcome sexual discrimination in the Hungarian legal system for the field of adoption.

The detailed results of the survey conducted in the application can be viewed in the diagrams below.

Do you think same-sex marriage should be allowed in Hungary?

Do you support the fact that gay people in Hungary should have the same chance of adopting children as heterosexuals?
Do you think members of the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary are adequately represented in government and legislation?

Next week we will provide more thematic questions and analysis. Join us to find out more about the topic!

Download the Pulzus application, take part in our surveys, and we will reward you for it! For your answers, you get Pulzus points you can exchange for valuable prizes.

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