The 23rd Budapest Pride march marking the end of Hungary’s month-long festival of the LGBTQ community was held on Saturday afternoon, with participants gathering near City Park and later moving across central Budapest without any significant incidents reported.
The march, led by a rainbow-decorated truck, proceeded along Andrassy Avenue, Nagymezo Street, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Road, Alkotmany Street, and ended at Kossuth Square in front of Parliament late in the afternoon.
Szilvia Nagy of the organising Rainbow Mission Foundation said at the start of the event that the march was a way of protesting against social exclusion and celebrating love and the diversity of the LGBTQ community.
The march was attended by NGOs, company representatives as well as members of the opposition Socialist Party, Párbeszéd, the satirical Two-Tailed Dog Party and Momentum, Nagy said.
Photo: MTI Photo: MTI
Participants were greeted by counter-demonstrators at Kodály Körönd who held up a banner that read “Your queerness is disgusting”. Others revved their motorcycles to try to drown out the march.
Another group of counter-protesters gathered at Oktogon. A few managed to breach the cordon protecting the marchers, but police corralled them into a gateway.
At Kossuth Square, Ádám Csikos said on behalf of the organisers that the state should grant same-sex couples the right to marry and raise children. He said he was proud that some 100 events were organised during the month-long Pride festival in Budapest and five other cities.
At the same time, Csikos voiced his frustration over what he called a lack of equal rights for LGBTQ people. “It’s not okay that a political regime forces its views onto citizens,” he said.
When participants at the front of the march reached Oktogon proceeding along Andrássy Avenue, the last ones were just passing Kodály Körönd — a distance of around 750m.
During the closing speeches at Kossuth Square, a European Union and a rainbow flag were hung from one of the windows of Parliament.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition had said in a statement that its MPs would greet the march by hanging Pride and EU flags from the windows of their offices.Budapest Pride 2018, Photo: MTI
Socialist Party MP Ágnes Kunhalmi, the Liberal Party’s Anett Bosz and Parbeszed’s Bence Tordai, among others, were in attendance.
The Budapest police headquarters (BRFK) told MTI that officers had conducted ID checks but no other intervention was required.