Thousands join Budapest pride due to sweltering heat

The European Commission sued Hungary earlier this month over a law passed last year. limit the teaching of homosexuality and transgender issues in schools, the latest anti-LGBTQ action taken by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.
His administration presented the law as a way to protect children, but rights groups said it was LGBTQ discrimination European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called it a “disgrace”.

“I’m queer myself and it’s important that we stand out especially in a country where political sentiment towards LGBT people is like that,” said one of the pride participants, as crowds of people marched through the capital with rainbow flags and umbrellas in 40-degree temperatures. . Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

Orban’s Fidesz-Christian Democratic government, which won elections in April, says LGBTQ rights and other such social issues should be decided by national governments in the European Union.

Orban, in power since 2010, owes part of his electoral success to a hard-line immigration policy and the promotion of social policies that he says aim to defend traditional Christian values ​​from Western liberalism.

Orbán's reaction to LGBTQ rights drew condemnation from the EU.

Speaking earlier Saturday in Romania, Orbán said the big problems Hungary is facing are demographics, migration and gender politics, as well as the war in Ukraine and economic problems.

Dozens of embassies accredited to Budapest issued a joint statement in support of the LGBTQ community ahead of Saturday’s march.

“We express our full support to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community and their rights to equality and non-discrimination, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” the US Embassy said in a statement. .