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Thousands of People Celebrate Pride in Hungary Despite Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

On Saturday, 300,000 people marched in Budapest for the annual Pride parade to both celebrate Pride and protest the Hungarian government’s recent homophobic legislation.

The Hungarian Parliament passed a law in June that restricts media seen to promote homosexuality or gender nonconformity. Content that is considered to do so must be labeled as “not recommended for those under 18 years of age.” Additionally, any educational materials that the government sees as promoting homosexuality or gender nonconformity are prohibited for children. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán supports the law.

“In the past two years, we’ve had a government attack against the LGBTQI community, a lot of hate speech and also adoption of restrictive legislation when it comes to transgender rights, adoption, and most recently, a Russian-style propaganda law,” said Tamás Dombos, a board member of the Háttér Society, Hungary’s leading LGBTQ+ rights organization.

Marchers at the Budapest Pride parade wore bright colors, sang, danced, and waved rainbow flags in defiance of Hungary’s latest discriminatory law. Attendance at the Pride celebration Saturday was the largest it has ever been, according to the event organizers.

Prime Minister Orbán plans to hold a referendum on the new law due to an outcry of criticism against the legislation from the European Union, other members of the international community, and the Hungarian people.

“A lot of people came to show their support and to show that not everyone thinks like our government,” Dombos said of the march. “It feels really nice that so many people turned up.”

“There’s power in numbers,” Balint Rigo, a Pride organizer, said to CNN. “We may not be able to change anything in the short term, but together we’re a symbol of solidarity.”

Sources: CNN 7/24/21; New York Times 6/15/21; Politico 7/24/21; New York Times 7/24/21; CNN 7/21/21

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