In scorching heat, thousands of Hungarians participated in the annual Budapest Pride march. They pledged to continue their fight against policies that are detrimental to LGBTQ rights and have been condemned by the EU.
Hungary was sued by the European Commission earlier this month for a law that prohibited teaching homosexuality and transgender topics in schools. This is the latest anti-LGBTQ measure passed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.
His administration billed the law as a way of protecting children. However, human rights groups claimed it discriminated against LGBTQ persons and it was labeled a “disgrace” by President Ursula von der Leyen of European Commission.
One Pride participant said: “I am a queer and it’s important we show ourselves especially in a country that has such political sentiment towards LGBTQ people.”
Orban’s Fidesz -Christian Democrat government won April elections and stated that LGBTQ rights, as well as other social issues, are matters national governments should decide in the European Union
Orban has been in power since 2010. His electoral success can be attributed to his tough stance on immigration and the promotion of social policies that he claims aim to protect traditional Christian values from Western liberalism.
Orban spoke earlier in the day in Romania about the challenges Hungary faces due to demography, migration, and gender politics. He also mentioned the war in Ukraine, economic problems, and the war in Ukraine.
Before Saturday’s march, dozens of Budapest embassies issued a joint statement supporting the LGBTQ community.
The US Embassy released a statement saying that it supports members of the lesbians, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex (LGBTQI+), community, and their rights to equality, non-discrimination and freedom of expression.
Reporting by Krisztina Feyo and Krisztina Than Editing By Helen Popper
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