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Thousands pour in for Budapest Pride march

Thousands of Hungarians joined the annual Budapest Pride march on Saturday to support LGBTQ people and protest against a law that limits teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues in schools.

Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in power since 2010, has introduced social policies that he says aim to safeguard traditional Christian values from Western liberalism, stoking tensions with the European Union.

The European Commission has launched legal action against Mr. Orban’s government over the new law, which came into force this month, saying it is discriminatory and contravenes European values of tolerance and individual freedom.

Demonstrators at the march through the streets of central Budapest said the legislation was dividing the former Soviet-bloc nation and now a member of the European Union.

“The law is an outrage. We live in the 21st century, when things like that should not be happening. We are no longer in communist times, this is the EU and everyone should be able to live freely,” Istvan, 27, said at the march with his boyfriend.

Orban’s Fidesz-Christian Democrat government, which faces a tough election next year, says LGBTQ rights and other such social issues are matters for national governments to decide. It says the law aims to protect children not target homosexuals.

Organisers said in a statement the rally would show opposition to “power-hungry politicians” and reject intimidation of LGBTQ people. “Instead of protecting minorities, the Fidesz-Christian Democrat government is using laws to make members of the LGBTQ community outcasts in their own country,” they said.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 8:27:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/thousands-pour-in-for-budapest-pride-march/article35515606.ece

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