Over 10,000 march in Budapest Pride Festival, despite far-right protests

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On July 12, over ten thousand people marched for LGBT equality in Hungary’s nineteenth Budapest Pride Festival, despite protests by a far-right political group.

According to Gay Star News, a group statement of support for Pride was signed by “the embassies of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.”

In contrast, the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party publicly condemned the march and spoke out against the foreign diplomats that had demonstrated support for it. Spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki said their support was “appalling,” and complained that a few embassies had even helped sponsor the march.

Another Jobbik, Érpatak mayor Mihály Zoltán Orosz, attempted to march in the parade with a sign full of anti-gay bible quotes and about thirty “traditional family” supporters, but was prevented from doing so by police.

However, Jobbik politician ElÅ‘d Novák was able to hang a banner in the window of the parliament building, reading “This house does not want your deviant propaganda.”

When parade marchers arrived in Heroes’ Square, a few anti-gay counter-protesters broke past barriers to confront them, but were soon detained by police.

The Jobbik party, which is known for expressing not only homophobic but racist views, is the National Assembly’s third largest party as of April 2014, when it secured 20.5 percent of the national vote.

Registered partnerships have been legal for same-sex couples in Hungary since 2009. The legal recognition provides access to many of the same rights of marriage, with the exception of surrogacy (which is banned for all couples), adoption, and name changes.

In 2012, the ruling Fidesz party enacted a new constitution that defines marriage as an institution exclusively for heterosexual couples. The new constitution also does not include protections against discrimination for the LGBT community, but the 2003 Act on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity, remains valid.

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