United States Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis (above) and embassy staff participated in the Budapest Pride March on Saturday to demonstrate support for the Hungarian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as part of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s initiative to promote minority rights issues throughout the world.
In the US, President Barack Obama declared June to be Pride Month. “Here in Hungary the US embassy stood with over 15 other foreign embassies in support of the LGBT community at the recent EuroGames and the Pride Cultural and Film Festival,” a statement released by the embassy said. Kounalakis added: “I admire the courage and perseverance of the Hungarian LGBT community against adversity and I stand with you all on this journey to raise awareness of the value of diversity and the acceptance of LGBT rights as human rights.”
Estimates put the marchers‘ numbers at about 3,000.
Loud, not proud
As is now usual, the Pride Parade attracted demonstrators less enthusiastic about minority rights, but aside from a few verbal exchanges activists managed to walk the distance unharmed. Police were not as lucky, with many hit by tomatoes probably intended for the parade. Ten people were taken into custody for truculence and attacking police.