AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

oszk.hu
  • No tags were found...

AZ EGY BÁN GYA HOW TO PUT EQUALITY INTO PRACTICE? - MEK

III. Development of sexual orientation related anti-discrimination…the pension application in the first and second degree arguing thataccording to the social security law in the case of the death of one partnerin a cohabiting partnership not having children, the surviving partneris eligible for a widow’s or widower’s pension only if ten years ofuninterrupted cohabitation can be proved. However, the authorityargued, as the modification of the Hungarian Civil Code legalisingsame-sex partnerships (following the decision of the HungarianConstitutional Court in 1995) 28 became operational only in 1996, theten years cohabitation period could only be completed in 2006.The Háttér Support Society encouraged the surviving partner tolet their lawyer represent him and start an action in the EmploymentCourt of Budapest (Fõvárosi Munkaügyi Bíróság), arguing that the lawmaker’s intention in 1996 was to end discrimination in 1996, not in2006. Therefore any period of cohabitation preceding the legislationshould be taken into account. Furthermore, the lawyer of HátterSupport Society showed that a different interpretation of the legislationwould lead to consequences at loggerheads with the Constitution.This case was not only prosecuted at court. Simultaneously, acoordinated lobbying offensive was launched. In October 2003 threeNGOs (the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the Háttér Support Societyand the Hungarian Helsinki Committee) issued a protest declaration.The Minister without Portfolio responsible for equal treatment affairswas approached by activists, leading her to publicly express an opinion inthe case saying that she considered it discriminatory. The Minister alsoturned to the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office with a view to obtain agovernment order ending the ambiguity of the social security law. At thesame time Háttér Support Society escalated their lobbying to theEuropean level by contacting ILGA-Europe (of which it is a member)and asking them for support in the form of a letter addressed to theHungarian Prime Minister and government. In this letter ILGA-Europeasked how it was possible that during the final stages of negotiations onHungary’s accession to the European Union and in the course ofcodifying national equal treatment legislation of a high European standard,a public body under the direction of the government – the NationalPensions Authority – can openly discriminate against same-sex couples.The government responded by issuing an executive order effectivefrom January 1, 2004 acknowledging that any period of cohabitation prior28 For more details see: the “III.2. Fighting against the legal discrimination ofLGBT people” section.57

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines