Hungary bans changing gender on IDs

Gay and transgender groups in Hungary are condemning a law that would ban citizens from changing their gender on ID documents, such as birth or marriage certificates.

Hungary's parliament voted 133 to 57 in favor of the bill on Tuesday (May 20). If signed into law, it would replace the word "sex" on the documents to "sex at birth."

Activists say it's increased fear of discrimination and attacks in that country.

And, they've already been effectively unable to change the gender documentation for two years due to other measures.

Tamas Dombos is with one group, called the Hungarian LGBT Alliance.

"This law passed yesterday is extremely sad and worrying. It practically makes the lives of transgender people impossible in Hungary. Civil society organizations, international organizations, the European Council, the European Union and the U.N. protested in vain, the government did not listen to them."

The government's communications office says the decision did not affect, quote, "men's and women's right to freely experience and exercise their identities."

It also says that the measure is aimed at ending uncertainties being faced by courts and authorities in interpreting the word sex.

Dombos and other activists are planning to lobby Hungary's president not to approve the legislation and challenge it in the courts, and potentially at the European Court of Human Rights.