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Thousands of Budapest Pride participants protest against the ruling...

Thousands of Budapest Pride participants protest against the ruling…

Thousands of Hungarians demonstrated in Budapest on Saturday for the rights of heterosexual people. This year’s Budapest Pride parade was held against the backdrop of a smear campaign around the “anti-gay law” of the right-wing nationalist government of Viktor Orban.

“This law is a disgrace. We live in the 21st century, where such things should not happen anymore. We are no longer living in the time of communism, we live in the European Union,” said Istvan, 27, who joined the rally with his friend Everyone will be free.”

In June, the Hungarian Parliament passed government-initiated legislation banning minors from accessing information about non-sexual lifestyles. Advertising displaying homosexuality or transsexualism as part of normal life is also prohibited. The European Commission has already opened infringement proceedings against Hungary because it considers the legislation discriminatory.

Photo: EPA-EFE

“This is nothing more than a distraction to tear the country apart. It is a provocation in the run-up to the elections,” said Boglarca Palaz, 25, another participant in the show, which went off without major incident.

Support from abroad

The Budapest Pride declared in advance that “Pride is not just a party, but also a protest, a protest against Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law, against hate posters, and against the constitutional stigmatization of transgender people.” The organization denounced “hateful and homophobic public rhetoric”.

More than forty foreign embassies and institutions in Hungary had previously expressed their support for Budapest’s pride. “We encourage steps in every country to ensure equality and dignity for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, among other countries, wrote in a joint statement.

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Also in the German capital, Berlin, thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate Christopher Street Day, the day when the rights of the LGBT community are celebrated. Here too, the organizers had previously indicated that the event would be a protest march and not a big celebration this year, but the atmosphere was nonetheless festive.

Thousands of Budapest Pride attendees protest against Orbán's government
Photo: Reuters