Hungarian Pride Marchers Attacked

Anti-gay demonstrators attack participants in Budapest Pride march

Some 2,000 participants in the 10th annual Pride march in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, were attacked by anti-gay demonstrators representing fascist organizations on July 7.

More than 200 members of the two groups, Movement for a Better Hungary and the neo-Nazi Hungarian National Front, threw eggs, smoke bombs and bottles as parade floats traveled from Heroes’ Square to a dance club near a bridge crossing the Danube. Some injuries and hospitalizations were reported.

Gábor Demszky, Budapest’s mayor from the Alliance of Free Democrats party, condemned the violence against the event for which he had expressed unambiguous support. However, three non-governmental organizations accused the government-supported police of doing little to stop the fascists.

The violence followed an announcement on July 5 from Szetey Gabor, a member of Hungary’s Socialist Party, who became the first governing politician in Hungary to come out as gay. He made his statement at the opening of the LGBT film festival in Budapest.

That same day, as junior coalition member of the Alliance of Free Democrats announced that it would ask for same-sex unions to be legalized in Hungary, where common-law same-sex marriage approved in 1996 currently makes inheritance, widow’s pension and immigrant rights possible although not automatic. Under the new proposal to legalize marriage, same-sex partners would still be unable to adopt children, and would still be prevented from holding a traditional marriage ceremony.