Hungarian lawmakers on Monday
overwhelmingly adopted a new socially and fiscally conservative
constitution that bans gay and lesbian couples from marrying, the AP
The measure was backed by the Fidesz
party and its ally, the Christian Democrats, who won two-thirds of
parliamentary seats last April. The rewrite sailed through with a
262 to 44 vote. Hungary's three opposition parties – the
Socialists, the green Politics Can Be Different, and the far-right
Jabbik – were virtually shut out of the process or refused to
Conservative Prime Minister Viktor
Orban cheered the move, saying it would aid the former communist
country to transition to democracy, a process which began in 1989.
But human rights groups, including Amnesty International, called it
an attempt to limit freedoms.
The measure's anti-discrimination
clause excludes sexual orientation or gender identity, and the
document defines marriage as a heterosexual union. Gay couples may
legally register their relationships.
“The new constitution is built upon
our past and traditions, but seeks and contains answers to current
problems while keeping an eye on the future,” parliamentary speaker
Laszlo Kover said.