The Budapest police chief has banned a
gay pride parade planned to be held in Budapest on July 5,.The police document, signed by Gabor Toth and published on the
event’s homepage pride.hu, states that the licence for the
parade has been refused because it would obstruct important traffic
routes in central Budapest.
Police have suggested that the gay pride event should be held at
a fixed location instead of being a procession.
As many as 15 gay organisations have signed a protest against
the police chief’s decision, stating that the gay pride parade is
planned to follow the same route as in recent years and the Saturday
procession would occupy only half of the road which would not cause
a significant obstruction that justifies the ban. Holding the event
at a fixed location would in effect hide it from the public eye and
prevent the event’s main purpose, they added.
Hungarian MEP and former minister for equal opportunities
Katalin Levai told MTI on Thursday that the ban is unacceptable
because a significant minority in Hungary must not be denied a
chance to present itself. Levai said several hundred police officers
have secured events by the homophobic far-right organisation
Hungarian Guard and Budapest regularly hosts processions by bikers
and other groups. "I do not believe that a colourful parade on a
Saturday morning during the summer would cause a major obstruction
to traffic on the less-frequented Andrassy Avenue," Levai added.
Deputy police chief Zsolt Bodnar said coordination talks between
police and the organiser Rainbow Mission started about the gay pride
parade a month ago but an agreement has not been reached so far.
Rainbow Mission informed police on June 10 of the plan to hold the
parade on the Deak Square-Andrassy Avenue-Heroes’ Square route and
police had to reply to this announcement within the legally
regulated deadline, he added.
However, coordination talks will continue, Bodnar said and added
that there was still hope for an agreement to be reached about this
year’s gay pride parade. Both parties have expressed the willingness
to find a compromise solution, he noted.