The traditional pride march, in support of the LGBT+ community, is being held this Saturday, July 23 in Budapest (Hungary). It comes as the Hungarian government increasingly opposes the rights of LGBT+ people.
There is likely to be tension in the air today in Budapest. This Saturday, July 23, the streets of the Hungarian capital will fill with LGBT+ activists and their allies, as the local community sees its rights increasingly threatened.
More than 10,000 people had participated in the previous edition in July 2021. A record crowd, just after the vote on a controversial law prohibiting “the distribution of content on homosexuality to minors”.
Twelve months later, Hungarians continue to fight against this law. They can count on the support of the European Commission, which announced two weeks ago that it had taken the Union to court against Hungary. This procedure can lead to a conviction by the Court of Justice of the EU, or even to financial penalties.
Orban’s regular target local community
The LGBT+ community is a regular target of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in power since 2010 and re-elected in April 2022. He poses as a defender of Hungary’s “Christian roots”, which he considers “threatened” by immigration and ‘homosexuality.
In June 2021, the government brought into force a law prohibiting the use of school content deemed to promote homosexuality. Criticized by the European Commission, Viktor Orban tried to legitimize the law by organizing a referendum, scheduled for April 2022.
“Do you approve of the teaching of sexual orientation to minor children in educational institutions without parental consent?” and “Do you approve of the promotion of sex reassignment treatments for minors?” were among the questions posed to the public. The referendum was met with a massive boycott (55% abstention and invalid votes), thus invalidating the results.
The Commission continues to consider “that the law violates the rules of the internal market, the fundamental rights of people (…) as well as the values of the EU”, she indicated in a press release. Pending the results of the infringement procedure, the Hungarian government maintains that the law is not homophobic and aims “to protect children”.
En Hungary, gay marriage is prohibited, as is changing gender. LGBT+ couples also cannot adopt children.