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Hungary may give OK to same-sex partnerships

Gemma Pritchard November 13, 2007
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Hungary’s governing parties have reportedly agreed to tackle the issue of same-sex relationships by introducing some form of legal partnership.

According to Hungarian website, both governing parties in the country are theoretically willing to provide equal rights for same-sex couples, though only two MSZP (Socialist Party) MPs supported the liberal party’s suggestion at a human rights commission meeting.

Hungary is the first ex-communist country and fifth in the world to legalize the same-sex partnerships.

In 1986 unregistered cohabitation was recognised by the Hungarian authorities but no official registration is required. It becamse the first former communist state to legalise same-sex partnerships.

In many other EU states same-sex couples already have legal rights.

The Dutch-Belgian-Spanish model provides full equality for same-sex couples, practically extending the concept of marriage.

The Scandinavian-German-British model provides civil partnership for same-sex couples, which still keeps some elements of discrimination, but provides a legal background for them.

The French-Luxembourgian model introduced civil solidarity contract called PACS (Pacte civil de solidarité) for all couples which can be terminated without legal measures, but does not provide rights of inheritance or adoption.

In the former Eastern Bloc, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Croatia introduced registered cohabitation, which provides fewer rights than civil partnerships, but more than PACS.

Conservative parties in Hungary oppose all of these proposals stating that marriage can be made only between opposite sex partners, and they are afraid that married people would register with a third person.

Last week the Hungarian Parliament’s human rights committee rejected a Free Democrat bill allowing same-sex marriage.

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