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Gay US Ambassador to Hungary Marches in Budapest Pride March



Upwards of 35,000 people participated in annual event

Tens of thousands of people on Saturday participated in the annual Budapest Pride march that took place in the Hungarian capital.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony and openly gay U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman are among the more than 35,000 people who participated in the event that took place amid fears right-wing protesters would disrupt it.

“Everything was great,” Budapest Pride President Viktoria Radvanyi told the Washington Blade after the march.

The U.S., along with 37 other countries, on July 14 issued a joint statement through their respective embassies in support of Budapest Pride.

“On the occasion of the 28th Budapest Pride Festival, we the undersigned embassies and cultural institutes express our full support for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community in Hungary and their rights to equality and non-discrimination, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and freedom from violence,” reads the statement. “Respect for the rule of law and universal human rights are the foundations upon which democratic states are built. International human rights law is grounded on the broad premise that all individuals have the same rights and freedoms without discrimination.”

“We reject and condemn all acts of violence, hate speech, harassment, stigmatization and discrimination committed against individuals and communities on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics and support the fight against such acts,” it continues. “In this regard, we are concerned with legislation and political rhetoric, including in Hungary, that is in tension with principles of non-discrimination, international human rights law and human dignity and contributes to stigmatization of the LGBTQI+ community. We stress the need for leaders and governments, here and elsewhere, to show respect for and protect the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals and communities and to eliminate laws and policies that discriminate against them.”

Hungarian bookstore chain fined for violating anti-LGBTQ propaganda law

The Pride march took effect against the backdrop of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his government’s continued crackdown on LGBTQ and intersex rights.

A law that bans legal recognition of transgender and intersex people took effect in 2020. Hungarian MPs in 2020 effectively banned same-sex couples from adopting children and defined marriage in the country’s constitution as between a man and a woman.

An anti-LGBTQ propaganda law took effect in 2021. The European Commission last July sued Hungary, which is a member of the European Union, over the country’s propaganda law.

The Budapest Metropolitan Government Office last week fined Lira Konyv, the country’s second-largest bookstore chain, 12 million forints ($36,056.74), for selling copies of British author Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper.”

Pressman is among those who have sharply criticized Orbán over his government’s LGBTQ and intersex policies.

“No matter how many government-produced posters of ‘Brussels’ bombs may be emblazoned around town at any given moment, the reality is Hungary is not under ‘attack’ by outside forces, or vulnerable to a ‘liberal virus’ or ‘Western decadence,’ or cowering before George Soros, or at the mercy of omnipotent conspiratorial powers,” said Pressman on June 16 during a speech he gave at a Budapest Pride event. “No, the reality is something far simpler. The story of Hungary, including its movement for equality, is one being written not by foreigners, but by Hungarians.”

Source : Washington Blade

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