IGLHRC’s Executive Director, Cary Alan Johnson, will march in Budapest’s 2009 Gay Pride parade, which will be held on September 5th in the Hungarian capital. Cary’s report, along with multimedia files from the event, will be posted on IGLHRC’s blog next week.
Last year’s pride parade in Budapest turned violent when right-wing extremists attacked marchers with stones and Molotov cocktails, and clashed with security forces. During those riots, eight people were injured; police took forty-five people into custody and used water cannons and tear gas to break up the neo-Nazi assailants.
Watch images from last year’s gay pride in Budapest, including scenes of violence, on Youtube:
In the days prior to this year’s pride parade, tensions have been growing between both sides of the debate. On August 28th, thirteen embassies in Hungary issued a joint press release to express their “support for and solidarity with” the event. The countries whose missions supported the march are Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The statement of thirteen embassies came on the same day as Ilona Ekes, a member of the Hungarian parliament’s Human Rights, Minorities and Religious Affairs Committee, called on police to ban the gay parade, and instead organize a social and professional dialogue on homosexuality, which she referred to as a “mental injury.”
Earlier last month, renowned American comedian Whoopi Goldberg posted a Youtube message in support of the gay pride parade in Budapest. Whoopi’s message, addressed to the Hungarian people, can be viewed below: