Fidesz Mayor Máté Kocsis proves he’s not gay through homophobia

In a postmodern world, people have the right to choose and construct their own public identity, be it religious, cultural, ethnic, national or sexual, and society has an obligation to respect this choice. Liberal and openly gay politician Klára Ungár’s decision to “out” two very prominent Fidesz leaders as being gay, following comments by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that bordered on homophobia, was not well received by many on the left of the political spectrum. Fidesz communications director and mayor of Budapest’s 8th District, Máté Kocsis, was one of the two politicians outed by Ms. Ungár as allegedly being a closeted homosexual. I didn’t think it was appropriate for Ms. Ungár or for anyone else to pry in Mr. Kocsis’s bedroom and put on display what she asserts is his sexual orientation. Perhaps for the first time, I even sympathized with Mr. Kocsis–which does not come easily for me, especially in light of his complete lack of compassion for the homeless in his district. (Mr. Kocsis is the political architect behind the policy of effectively criminalizing homelessness.)

And then I saw how Mr. Kocsis was handling the issue on Facebook, and I was astounded. Apparently, Mr. Kocsis is trying to prove that he isn’t gay by posting a rabidly homophobic article written by far-right publicist Zsolt Bayer and by writing furious and bizarrely defensive responses to nearly any Facebook user who questions his decision to share and commend this virulently offensive piece from Magyar Hírlap.

Máté Kocsics, Fidesz's communications director and Mayor of Budapest's 8th District launches a lawsuit against a liberal politician who claimed that he's gay.

Máté Kocsis, Fidesz’s communications director and Mayor of Budapest’s 8th District, launches a lawsuit against a liberal politician who claimed that he’s gay.

Éva Balogh published a summary of Zsolt Bayer’s piece in the Hungarian Spectrum, as well as a round-up of some of the other articles that appeared on this topic over the past few days, following Mr. Orbán’s comments that gays in Hungary are tolerated, so long as they aren’t too provocative. But Mr. Bayer’s piece is a new low.

“Let’s stop and say it proudly: To hell with the International Day Against Homophobia! We shit on the idiotic world in which this day can even exist. We have nothing to do with you. Go ahead and be gay, do as you please, but don’t you ever want to introduce us to any of this. Because for us, this is simply disgusting. And we have the inalienable right to be disgusted,” wrote Mr. Bayer, who is a close personal friend of the prime minister.

I wonder how gay residents in Budapest’s 8th District felt when they not only saw their mayor post Mr. Bayer’s hate speech on his Facebook page, but then also read how he commended the far-right publicist for writing a “sensational” article.

“Earlier this week, a lesbian woman named Klára Ungár said that I’m gay. Of course, our job is such that someone is always going to be spreading something about us. One can get used to this. I informed Ms. Ungár not to be hopeful, because I am not one of them. I’m really not. I launched a lawsuit against her for making this claim. This whole situation isn’t worth spending anymore time on, but Zsolt Bayer’s piece on this subject is so sensational, that I would like to call everyone’s attention to it,” wrote Mr. Kocsis on his Facebook wall.

What followed on his Facebook page was a combination of people writing to the mayor in support of what he has to say, to lambast Ms. Ungár, while other users were critical of the fact that a Budapest mayor would refer to a rabidly homophobic article as being sensationally good.

Interestingly enough, Mr. Kocsis decided to personally respond to many of the people who were critical of his decision to share Mr. Bayer’s piece, and he did so in a particularly defensive manner.

“It wasn’t your family that all kinds of lesbians decided to dishonour. If my child wasn’t just six months old, but perhaps old enough to attend school, and if he could comprehend this filth that they have  thrown our way, then maybe I would express myself differently. Now get lost,” wrote Mayor Kocsis to one of the critical voices on Facebook.

Someone remarked that a 21st century politician shouldn’t be threatening a lawsuit for something like this and should not get so defensive, but could simply and pleasantly correct the misconception about his sexuality. Mr. Kocsis responded to this as well.

“When a prime lesbian calls you gay in public, despite the fact that you’re a father, then you’ll have the chance to pleasantly correct her,” noted Mr. Kocsis.

Mr. Kocsis has the right to privacy and there’s no reason why he should be forced by someone else to share or comment on his sexual orientation in public. But Mr. Kocsis’s response, which borders on hysteria, is quite telling of how prominent Hungarian politicians are incapable of broaching the subject of sexual orientation in a calm, cool and collected manner. After all, Ms. Ungár didn’t accuse Mr. Kocsis of criminal behaviour, she didn’t release to the public allegations of some deeply immoral, lascivious and reprehensible activities. She just insinuated that he is gay. There surely could have been a more pleasant, more jovial way of responding, than sparking a frantic firestorm on Facebook.

6 Comments

  1. I don’t think being gay in Hungary today is a career-ending situation, nor should the claim that Kocsis is gay really cause any problems for him. If it’s just some silly innuendo, then why doesn’t he respond in kind? Don’t take it seriously, don’t have a public freak-out and meltdown because of it. Take it in stride!

    Kocsis is too uptight. Someone get him a chill pill.

  2. Charlie London says:

    I disagree.

    LGBT citizens have evey right to the same privacy as any other citizen.

    But when there is alleged rank hypocrisy from a mayor/politician who is part of the ‘democratic’ parliament and who can affect the lives of this minority, then there are no holds barred.

    We had a similar situation when the House of Bishops – a constituency in our upper house, the House of Lords, voted on a ‘clause’ debate about how sexuality was taught and referred to in schools – covering homosexuality among other issues.

    Gay bishops were outed for their hypocrisy by a gay activist here, Peter Tatchell. Quite right.

    It will only take time before Koscis is fully outed if indeed he is being a hypocrite – as one so closely identified with probably the most homophobic government in the EU should be.

    Yes LGBT, Roma, Jews, the homeless and all minorities live under a cloak of fear in Hungary.

    Mayor Kocsis is reacting as though the accusation is true with his “despite the fact that he is a father” defence and attack dog rhetoric.

    He can experience some of the fear and unpleasantness that someone who is beleaguered feels.

    No sympathy please – just slow inexorable pressure for this moron.

    And the same goes for that alleged sexual deviant József Szájer – another evil component of the so-called Christian ‘democracy’ (an MEP)

  3. This is my initial post to this site. I’m an expat Canadian, now a neopat Hungarian. I spent 6 decades in Toronto, hence my web alias, which should be recognizable to anyone who reads Hungarian Spectrum regularly.

    Of course you’re right, Chris, in saying that Máté Kocsis deserves some measure of sympathy for his current predicament. That said, Kocsis is drop-dead stupid with his overreaction, which is perhaps more telling than he would want it to be. And fatherhood is no proof of anything.

    I think that Hungary is a pretty-straight society and being labeled ‘gay’ is probably the kiss of death here. Kathleen Wynne, a lesbian, can become the Premier of Ontario. That kind of liberality in Hungary (where Mr. Illiberal is the PM) may be a decade away.

    Outing is out, with a few exceptions. A prime exception would be one where a closeted politician is seriously politically antihomosexual. Just ask Dan Savage. Offhand I cant think of any other reason for outing, however there might be one or two out there.

    There must be a backstory that we are not aware of. What has Klára Ungár said about her action? Trying to get rid of asshole politicos is one thing, however this may backfire on Ungár. We need more details.

    MAGYARKOZÓ

  4. George Lázár says:

    I have a different take on this. During the Rákosi and Kádár-regime party leaders and members were required to have “rendezett családi élet” – which means a heterosexual family life. (Family life was evaluated on the individual Communist Party application forms!) Not only gays were not tolerated but divorce was discouraged.

    Orbán grew up with this morality, he is familiar with it, and he revived the “tradition.” Fidesz party leaders and apparatchiks are expected to live in heterosexual family settings with children, and Fidesz made sexual orientation a political theme. Fidesz has no gay politicians, they don’t have gay children, and they don’t even have gay friends. For them gays simply don’t exist.

    Ungár didn’t “out” Szájer and Kocsis, the two Fidesz politicians as being gay. Hungary is a small country and Szájer being gay (or bi) was an “open secret”, it was widely discussed in Budapest coffee houses. (I heard it years ago.) Ungár just repeated what the “Budapest elite” has known for a long time.

    The fake morality of Fidesz is the bedrock of their popularity. For them the many times divorced Gyurcsány is immoral, Angela Merkel is suspicious for not having children, and Guido Westerwelle ex-German foreign minister who was married to a man is a “fag” who did well.

    I suspect that possible personal tragedy is lurking for those gay Fidesz politicians who are hiding today, but I don’t feel sympathy for them. They knew exactly what do they get into, and they are doing it for money and power. I despise them for their hypocrisy.

  5. Dr. Habil. Andras Fodor says:

    Storm in a glass of water.

  6. http://budapestbeacon.com/politics/mate-kocsis-threatens-to-sue-klara-ungar-for-defamation

    Thanx for the post, George. Notwithstanding my far-left sympathies, the Stalinists, especially Rákosi, were amongst the most reactionary. It may not be (far) off the mark to call Viktor Orbán a neostalinist, given his origins and his exaltation of the family as the bedrock of Hungarian society.

    If Kocsis, Szájer and others be out, at least among the BP café crowd, then Ungár’s pissed-off reaction to Orbán’s homofobó tiptoeing indirectly outed the duo to the rest of the country thanks to the overreaction by Kocsis, whose threat of a lawsuit will bring his name to the very lips of Hungary.

    MAGYARKOZÓ

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