Hungary: Highest ever fine imposed on swimming-pool discriminating against LGBTQ sports club in Hungary

The Equal Treatment Authority found that a local-government run swimming pool discriminated against an LGBTQ sports club when it declined to rent out two of its swimming lanes for a sport event. The Authority imposed a fine of 1 million HUF.

Atlasz Sports Club offers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people an opportunity to practice sports in an LGBTQ-friendly environment in Hungary since 2004. One of their flagship events is the annual Atlasz Sports Day. In January 2017 they contacted MOM Sports Pool, a swimming pool operated by a subsidiary of the Budapest District XII Local Government to rent two lanes for their event. The sports center confirmed the availability of the pool via email, but when they learnt the name of the club, they declined the offer.

With the help of the legal aid of Háttér Society, the sports club turned to the Equal Treatment Authority to investigate the case. Besides declaring that the sports center discriminated against the sports club on the basis of its members’ sexual orientation and gender identity, the Equal Treatment Authority also ordered the center to pay a fine of 1 million HUF (appr. 3250 EUR), the highest ever fine the Authority has imposed in a sexual orientation / gender identity discrimination case. The Authority also ordered its decision to be published in full on its own and on the sports center’s website for preventive purposes. The sports center announced in the media that they will request a judicial review of the Authority’s decision. Read more via Hatter