Thousands of Hungarians joined the annual Budapest Pride march this Saturday to support LGTBI people and protest against the law of the ultraconservative Government Viktor Orbán that prohibits the dissemination of information related to this group in any area where there are minors. That veto not only affects schools and the media but even, according to the country's gay and transgender associations fear, it could be extended to the streets of Hungary.
Many protesters – most of them were young people and teenagers – denounced that this norm takes the country back to past times: “The law is outrageous. We live in the 21st century, things like this should not happen. We are no longer in the communist era, this is the EU and everyone should be able to live freely, ”said Istvan, 27, who attended the demonstration with her boyfriend.
Organized within the events of the Pride Festival in Budapest, the march took place in a festive atmosphere through the center of Budapest and was endorsed by more than 40 foreign embassies and cultural institutions in Hungary who issued a statement of support. "We encourage measures to be taken in all countries to guarantee the equality and dignity of all human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," wrote the signatories, including the embassies of the United States, Great Britain and Germany.
The controversial rule to which the participants in Saturday's act showed their opposition has come into force this month after the country's Parliament approved it on June 15 thanks to the absolute majority available to the conservative Fidesz party, of the Prime Minister Orbán. This law has been the last straw for the European Union's patience. On July 15, Brussels announced the opening of an infringement file against Hungary on understanding that the new legal provision violates fundamental rights.
A poll conducted last month by the Ipsos demographic organization revealed that 46% of Hungarians supported same-sex marriage. This position in favor of the rights of the homosexual minority of practically half of the Hungarian population has not deterred Orbán from converting what he defines as “traditional values” regarding sexual morality into one of his banners.
The hostility that the Hungarian Government has shown towards the LGTBI minority has worsened in recent months, culminating in the approval of the law that Orbán defines as “protector of childhood”. For some of the people who participated in the Pride march on Saturday, the rule actually has an electoral objective as the prime minister hopes to revalidate his power in the elections scheduled for April 2022. “This is nothing more than a distraction that deals with to destroy the country. It is a provocation on the occasion of the elections, "said Boglarka Balazs, a 25-year-old economist who participated in the march and called the law a" campaign tool. "
"Instead of protecting minorities, the government of Fidesz-Christian Democrats uses the laws to turn members of the LGTBI community into pariahs in their own country," criticized the organizers of the march in a statement in which they stressed the opposition of the group to the "power hungry politicians" and rejected the "intimidation" of the members of that minority.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Orbán announced that the anti-LGTBI law will be submitted to a referendum to “combat pressure from the EU”, through a video posted on the social network Facebook. He then accused Brussels of having “clearly attacked Hungary for its child protection law [the anti-LGTBI rule]”, before reviling what he described as “spreading sexual propaganda in kindergartens, schools, the television and commercials ”. The next day, his chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas, specified that the consultation would take place at the end of this year or early 2022.
The referendum will include, according to Orbán himself, five questions that, due to their formulation, seem aimed at seeking the do not. Among them, Hungarians will be questioned whether they support holding sexual orientation workshops in schools without their consent or whether they believe that sex reassignment procedures should be promoted among children. The prime minister specified that the questions will in turn be about whether the content that affects the sexual orientation of children should be offered without restrictions and if the sex reassignment procedures should be available to minors.
The opening of the file by the EU to Hungary is the first step in a process that can end in the Court of Justice of the EU and have as a consequence the suspension of European funding to this country. At the end of last year, Brussels was endowed with a regulation of conditionality to the rule of law, which allows for the first time to suspend funds to countries where the proper management of community resources is not guaranteed by the absence of adequate administrative structures, audit or judicial. The norm was born precisely with the aim of stopping the authoritarian drift in countries such as Hungary or Poland.