In protest of the Hungarian government’s continued crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights, thousands came out to support Budapest Pride on Saturday. Organizers told us that the march appeared to be the largest in its 26-year history.
The event comes after a recent law that bans positive representation of LGBTQ+ lives in media and art including film, advertisements, and books. Critics have condemned the law as oppressive. They say it is just the latest attack on the LGBTQ+ community following laws passed last year that prevent same-sex couples from adopting and trans people from changing their gender on their legal documents.
Prime Minister Victor Orban and his ruling Fidesz Party have announced a referendum on the new law set for early 2022. Research has found that 56 percent of Hungarians accept homosexuality and 46 percent support same-sex marriage.
The European Union has already begun legal actions in response to Hungary’s recent law. In a joint statement, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, along with embassies from several other countries, sent a message of support to participants and organizers of the Pride.
“Concerned by recent developments that threaten the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, we encourage steps in every country to ensure the equality and dignity of all human beings irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and stress the need for elected leaders and governments to show respect for and protect the rights of LGBTQI+ persons,” the statement said. The event also stood as a reminder of the situation for LGBTQ+ people in the region.
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