Same-sex couples and their children are also entitled to reduced-price football tickets in Hungary
The intervention of the Equal Treatment Authority was needed to force the Hungarian Football Federation to change its policy which excluded same-sex couples and their children from those entitled to buy football tickets at a reduced price available to families.
The Hungarian Football Federation adopted a decision in August 2012 which established a family sector for families of 3-5 persons attending matches of the Hungarian national football team. According to the policy reduced-price tickets were available to the sector under the following terms: “the man is to pay a full price, the accompanying woman can enter for free, and (up to three) children are to pay a 25% price”. This discriminative regulation was noticed by some activists and reported to the Legal Aid Service of Háttér Support Society for LGBT People. The association wrote a letter to the Federation requesting a change of the policy, but the Federation refused the amendment arguing that the new Fundamental Law defines marriage as a union between a woman and a man. Following the refusal, Háttér submitted an actio popularis complaint to the Equal Treatment Authority.
Soon after the submission, the Football Federation changed its opinion and amended its policy to entitle two adult citizens and their children to enter at a reduced price. The official procedure at the Authority ended with a settlement, as the Federation changed its policy on its own initiative.
“The case shows very well the unintended consequences of the restrictive notion of marriage and family in the new Fundamental Law. It makes no difference if the Government claims in all possible Hungarian and international fora that same-sex couples and their children are still considered family under Hungarian law, if those applying the law think otherwise” - commented Tamás Dombos, staff member of Háttér Legal Aid Service on the case.
Soon after information about the case reached the Hungarian media, the Christian Democratic People’s Party, member of the governing coalition, issued a press release in which they tell about their “astonishment” concerning the decision, and express their concern about the “trend that tries to broaden the traditional and natural model of family based on a man and a woman”.