Andras Szolnoki, 55, an anthropologist from the japanese metropolis of Debrecen, mentioned he joined the march in rebuke to “Orbán’s regime and for the rights of LGBTQI people who have been targeted by the government for the last four years.”
For Szolnoki, solely a “revolutionary approach” would change the established order in Hungary, the place final month, right-wing populist ministers handed a legislation basically banning LGBTQ points from being mentioned at school.
“It’s more than just a march,” Szolnoki instructed Source. “It’s about Hungary joining the Europeans and showing equality.”
The new legislation, supported by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, bans all instructional supplies and applications for youngsters which are thought-about to advertise homosexuality and gender reassignment.
The Prime Minister is urging a “no” vote. But for the folks gathered for Pride on Saturday, the reply is a convincing sure.
Critics of the legislation argue that holding the referendum — a five-question vote — is problematic in itself.
LGBTQ activist Akos Modolo, 26, instructed Source that the difficulty with the referendum is that it presents very “leading questions” to the general public, noting similarities to a 2016 referendum on the EU’s refugee resettlement plan. Hungary rejected that proposal however failed to achieve a voter turnout threshold, making the referendum not legally binding.
“Even if you support LGBT rights, you wouldn’t automatically say yes to these questions,” Modolo mentioned. “The government is using this as a political tool,” he mentioned, explaining that the federal government’s technique is to “always look for an enemy to blame” as a way to “appeal to the anger of the voters.”
“It’s important to have a discussion,” Modolo added. “But this is not a discussion — it’s a hate campaign.”
Saturday’s exhibiting was a technique that LGBTQ activists are pushing again in opposition to that discrimination.
Balint Rigo, 27, one of many Pride organizers, instructed Source that “a lot has happened over the last few years, and it’s time to show that we’re not okay with it.”
“Minorities have been systematically attacked, and we’re here to say enough,” Rigo mentioned, including that this yr’s occasion is predicted to see much more attendees than earlier years, which have drawn crowds of as much as 20,000 folks.
That’s as a result of “people aren’t just coming out for LGBTQ groups,” Rigo mentioned, “they’re coming out for minorities in general.”
“There’s power in numbers and we may not be able to change anything in the short term, but together we’re a symbol of solidarity,” he added.
A 2020 report from the Bratislava-based international think-tank Globsec discovered that almost all of Hungarians disagree with the demonization of the LGBTQ group, with 55% disagreeing with the assertion that LGBTQ rights symbolize a decadent ideology, regardless of the anti-gay rhetoric whipped up by the present authorities.
Nearly half of Hungarians agree with guaranteeing rights for LGBTQ folks, in keeping with the report.
Yet some consider that years of state-sponsored homophobia is lastly taking its toll.
In the southern metropolis of Szeged, companions Reka Spohn and Monika Rapi say that they and their two daughters have all the time felt accepted of their group. But the federal government’s newest transfer has modified all of that for them.
“They (the government) are acting like we are a hazard for children, that we are dangerous to children,” Sphon mentioned.
“If they say it enough times, people will start to believe it,” she added.
She notes the visibility of anti-LGBTQ billboards throughout the nation.
The authorities marketing campaign, billed as a public session forward of the referendum, asks main questions, with emojis hooked up to them. In the capital, the propaganda is seen on virtually on each road nook, with indicators asking the questions: “Are you angry with Brussels?” and, “Are you worried that your child will face sexual propaganda?”
It additionally prohibits the illustration of LGBTQ folks on tv throughout daylight or early night hours.
While Orbán says that the legislation is just not about violating LGBTQ rights, however about preserving dad and mom’ rights to decide on the right way to educate their kids, Spohn says that the message is evident.
“They act like we don’t exist,” she mentioned.
The couple are ready to flee the nation if issues worsen — an concept that’s being thought-about by many throughout Hungary’s LGBTQ communities.
But others nonetheless really feel the battle is price combating for at residence.
In November, Hubert Hlatky-Schlichter and his father, who’s homosexual, launched a marketing campaign to boost consciousness about rainbow households — outlined as a household with one mum or dad who identifies as lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer.
“This is just the beginning, because we are everywhere,” Hlatky-Schlichter mentioned.
“Our existence is not propaganda. The very existence of rainbow families is not propaganda,” mentioned Balazs Redli, a father. Redli, a journalist who’s fearful concerning the future his son will face, says there’s house for everybody in Hungary.
“We just want to live in this country like everyone one else does.”
Source’s Saskya Vandoorne and Melissa Bell reported from Budapest. Kara Fox reported and wrote from Ireland.