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The Hungarian government oppressed gay, queer and trans people in Hungary for years. Hungary’s parliament (Országgyűlés in Hungarian) in Budapest on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 waved through a package of draft laws and constitutional amendments that continue to stigmatize and disadvantage gay, queer, and trans people despite criticisms across Hungary and Europe. Among other things, a constitutional amendment prohibits homosexual couples from adopting children.
Dr. Gergely Tapolczai (45), a Deaf member of parliament, also voted for these reforms. He has been in the Hungarian Parliament for ten years and is a member of the national conservative and right-wing populist party Fidesz. Dr. Ádám Kósa (45), the Deaf member of the European Parliament, is also a member of this party. This party is led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Tapolczai has also been on the board of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) since 2009 and is now vice president. Many Deaf people do not want to accept this and raised this issue in various social media since few weeks. Jeffrey Garitte from Belgium posted a video on Instagram three days ago that was viewed over 6,000 times. The political act of Tapolczai is not in line with European values, Garitte said.
EUD announced on Facebook yesterday, Tuesday, February 2, 2021, that it takes the issue very seriously and has been discussing it. President Markku Jokinen (61) informed in the video that the EUD Board has decided that it will discuss this matter with its members at the Extraordinary General Assembly on February 27, 2021. EUD further stated that it defends the human rights of all Deaf people & embraces the diversity of the Deaf community in Europe, including the Deaf LGBTIQ* community.
Emilo Christensen from Denmark is very pleased with this decision but feels that Deaf people from the LGBTIQ* community should definitely participate in this discussion. Lars Knudsen, the president of the Danish Deaf Association (DDL), told him that the Danish delegation will represent diversity at the upcoming meeting.
Looking at the criticism of the past weeks, it is unlikely that Tapolczai can keep his credibility as vice-president.