Budapest, July 4 (MTI) – The 20th Budapest Pride festival of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community started with an opening ceremony on Margaret Island on Friday night.

In her opening address, Szilvia Nagy, head of the organising Rainbow Mission Foundation, criticized the government for promoting an image of Hungary as a tolerant country, whereas the gay community faces “skillfully disguised rejection”.

Actor and theatre director Robert Alfoldi said that Budapest was a “multicultural metropolis”, whose leader “cannot label the events of any minority unnatural or repulsive”. Such remarks are not appropriate for a “Christian, conservative and cultured man of true values” such as Mayor Istvan Tarlos, Alfoldi insisted. He argued that Tarlos should either not be mayor or “work on his aversion, refrain from passing judgement and ask questions instead.”

The festival, running until July 12, offers several dozen programmes including concerts, exhibitions, film shows, and roundtables.

The traditional pride march across central Budapest will be held next Saturday afternoon.

Photos: MTI


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