Budapest Pride barred from marching near Parliament

Organisers of the LGBT Pride march in Budapest, planned for 18th June, requested to alter the parade route in order to march towards the Hungarian Parliament. Their request was turned down.

Logo Budapest PrideThe Rainbow Mission Foundation initially requested to hold Budapest’s 16th Pride march along the route used in previous years, which was authorised by police services. Last week, organisers applied for a partial route change, allowing the march to end in front of the Hungarian Parliament.

This new plan was rejected, with reasons cited including heavy traffic and a photo exhibition installed in front of Parliament until the end of the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union (1 January – 30 June). This leaves no approved route for the time being.

Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman, Members of the European Parliament and Co-Presidents of the LGBT Intergroup, reacted: “Budapest Pride has a history of 15 years, and cooperation between the organisers and police forces for this year’s parade has been exemplary so far.”

“We very much regret that the Hungarian Presidency of the EU may be used as a pretext to refuse the new route, especially since organisers aim to address their elected representatives outside Parliament. We call on the police to discuss a possible solution with organisers constructively and flexibly.”

Sophie in’t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup, continued: “This is a regrettable decision, and potentially indicative of what the new Hungarian constitution and Media law may have in stock for LGBT people. It quite literally renders LGBT people invisible. Enshrining inequality in law and in the constitution would be an immense step backwards, putting Hungary at odds with the values it signed up to when joining the European Union.”

“We cannot accept the EU being led by a Presidency that disrespects equality and freedom of assembly, and we urge Hungarian authorities to do everything in their power to ensure that all European citizens can see diversity being celebrated in the beautiful city of Budapest.”

Organisers requested a judicial review of the decision, to be handed down within three days.

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