Feedback | Tuesday, July 16, 2024

23/06/24 | 12:42 pm | LGBTQ Parade Budapest

Thousands join Budapest Pride to protest anti-LGBTQ+ policies

Carrying rainbow flags and dancing through the streets, thousands of Hungarians celebrated the annual Budapest Pride parade on Saturday (June 22) and vowed to keep protesting against the government’s anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in power since 2010, promotes a Christian-conservative agenda and in 2021 banned the “promotion of homosexuality” among people under 18 years old despite strong criticism from civil rights groups and the European Union.

“It’s very important to be here … to show we exist and that we matter,” said 30-year-old Anna Reti, who took part in the march in the capital, adding that many LGBTQ+ Hungarians face discrimination and hostility in everyday life.

She said she felt people were staring at her when wearing rainbow accessories in the street.

Gay marriage is not recognized in Hungary and only heterosexual couples can legally adopt children.

Orban’s government has redefined marriage as the union between one man and one woman in the constitution, and limited gay adoption.

His government has said the 2021 law is meant to protect children and does not target the LGBTQ+ community, but it has caused anxiety among gay, bisexual and transgender Hungarians.

Ahead of Saturday’s march, the embassies of the United States, Germany and 33 other countries urged Hungary to protect LGBTQ+ rights and to scrap laws that discriminate against members of the community.

U.S. Ambassador David Pressman was one of several diplomats to join the Pride event.

“This is an amazing country with a rich history of people standing up and fighting for freedom,” he told reporters. “The people here who are marching today are doing so in the best traditions of the country,” he added.

(Reuters)

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Last Updated: 16th Jul 2024