The European Union is expressing itself more forcefully than usual over the issue of LGBTQ+ rights in Hungary. 16 EU leaders have signed an open letter vowing to fight discrimination.
Not content with banning material that supposedly “promotes” homosexuality, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán now conflates homosexuality with paedophilia. A bill passed by the Hungarian Parliament last week bans gays from being depicted on prime-time TV, educational programmes and much else beside.
Hungary’s stance on gay rights clearly contravenes the EU constitution and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte went so far as to tell Orbán to respect LGBTQ+ rights or quit the EU. Hungary’s stance is supported in full only by Poland.
In the past the EU has made noises about Orbán but has failed to actually do anything. It remains to be seen whether this new outburst of anger will result in any concrete measures being taken against the loathsome Orbán.
The Hungarian Gay Pride march takes to the streets of Budapest on 24 July. Orbán is up for re-election next year, and the march can be the launch of a campaign to finally get rid of this ogre. LGBTQ +solidarity could be expressed outside the Hungarian Embassy in London and the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Covent Garden.
• The author lived in Hungary from 1991 to 2000. In 2010 he was awarded a medal by the Hungarian Ministry of Art and Culture for his work in promoting Hungarian film culture. In 2012 he returned the medal in protest at Orbán’s reactionary policies