Pride and fury: Do Hungarian opposition parties care about LGBTQ rights?

This past weekend marked the opening of Budapest’s annual Pride celebrations. Kriszta Székely, the 34 year old director of the Katona József Theatre, opened this year’s Pride with an impassioned and at times angry speech, in which she took to task not only the Orbán government, but the opposition too. Both the Népszava daily and the Magyar Narancs magazine published Ms. Székely’s speech, which included some crass language that HFP would normally be slightly too prudish to publish. This time, as it has appeared in this form in some of Hungary’s oldest and most respectable publications, we will make an exception.

“When they asked me to give this speech, I could not imagine myself any other way, but screaming and yelling ‘mother fucker’ from this pulpit. I am standing here at age 34 in a country that has no mind and that has no heart. Citizens stand around me who tolerate those in power treating fleeing people, children and indeed their own Roma citizens as animals,” remarked Ms. Székely. She then added that there was no responsible political party in Hungary to which “it would be worth speaking to on political matters.”

“I just can’t believe that in this country there is no longer any good, that greediness, hate and a lack of respect are Hungary’s leading values,” she added.

Kriszta Székely

Ms. Székely’s suggestion that no political party in Hungary is worthy of dialogue when it comes to LGBTQ or social justice issues is unfair, considering that representatives of three opposition parties made a point of attending the opening of Pride week and were present for her speech. Those present from the opposition included Rebeka Szabó of the Párbeszéd party (Dialogue), who is also the deputy mayor of the district of Zugló, Balázs Szücs, district councillor in Budapest’s Erzsébetváros, and also a member of Párbeszéd, as well as Viktor Szigetvári and Péter Juhász of the Együtt party and Gábor Fodor of the Hungarian Liberal Party.

When Hungarian politicians champion LGBTQ rights and attend Pride, they don’t do this for the photo op or to earn political brownie points with the general population. Their demonstration of support and their attendance should be commended, as it is an act of courage in Hungary’s current social climate. The collective weight of the three parties in attendance might be fairly small, but when I had lunch with one of those politicians in attendance the other day in Budapest, he was rightly taken aback by the slight that they received at the event.

On a more constructive note, Ms. Székely did suggest that the answer in Hungary was to “embrace each other and start over.” She also spoke about how she once dreamed of being a ballerina, but realized that she did not possess the type of delicate femininity that she felt was required for success in that field.

The 22nd annual Pride Festival’s main march will take place on July 8th. This year, the organizers plan to march without barricades and police cordons.

10 Comments

  1. I happen to be one of those who marched in the 2008 Pride parade in Budapest, alongside Katalin Lévai, the former Minister of Equal Opportunities of Hungary, who by then was banished into “political” oblivion by the reigning Socialist government. (She returned to public life as a prolific fiction writer, but still very much in possession of her rightful indignation about the Hungarian political establishment’s blindness to social justice issues.) Though I narrowly missed being killed or seriously injured during that march – my report of this can be read by those who are fluent in Hungarian in Népszava, July 10. 2008. “Van aki nem tud verset írni”.) I will never forget the utter indifference shown by the ENTIRE Hungarian political establishment towards the disgrace that took place on the streets of Budapest that day. It was to me a clear signal of what was to follow on a larger scale, as Orbán set about to erect his illiberal state, patterned on such authoritarian regimes as Russia, China, or Turkey.

  2. Why would it be needed for politicians to “champion” LGBTQ rights and attend Pride? Why is it an “event” at all? They keep pushing their demand to be “equal” in society but in fact they demand way beyond equality; they want to have special privileges over the general society. They request rights that heterosexual people don’t have and keep pushing their agenda into the face of the public. Any backlash they receive is the result of their aggressively forceful promotion of their “special” lifestyle that does not meet the unfettered approval of the general public.

    Attending at these “special events” nobody should gain political brownie points. It should just be a personal preference to attend and it should not be politicized. My guess is that the attendees are themselves members of the “specialty” segment of the populous and it should be a non-published attendance rather than a showcasing of their preferences.

    I am fully for “embrace each other” but I do not want to see naked asses demonstrating on the street and most definitely I do not want to force the idea that LGBTQ is being normal onto my children and grandchildren. I simply cannot care who is doing what behind their closed doors but I do not want them to display it in public. It is unjust to the people who consider themselves “normal” and it is flying into the face of the people of the country.

    “This year, the organizers plan to march without barricades and police cordons.” I hope they will wear some clothing thou.

    ps. go ahead label me “homophobe” and of course “fascist”.

  3. Bendeguz79 says:

    I have a simple question to HFP.

    Do the laws of Hungary garantee (I mean at least in theory) the same human, and legal rights to every one, OR are there any limitations based on how any one may prefer to obtain his/her sexual satisfaction ?

    Than why are some groups demanding special privilages strictly based on their sexual preference?

    In either case, that sure would be discrimination.

    • Hungarian Free Press says:

      Why don’t you explain what special privileges you feel Hungary’s LGBT community is demanding? The right to marry and adopt children, perhaps, just like heterosexuals?

  4. To those who are unfamiliar with Hungary’s Pride parade: This year will be the first time that organizers hope it will not have to take place between 8 foot high fences and a line of trucks and a police cordon, that is there to protect the peaceful marchers from the hundreds of people who are lining the sidewalks and throwing manure and objects designed to maim and injure those who are exercising their human and civil rights. The trolls that come here to heap scorn on the defenders of civil rights are driven by the same kind of hatred and bigotry as those who are engaged in Gay, Jew, Roma, Lesbian, Democrat, Human Rights bashing in Hungary. Birds of a feather stick together.

  5. HFP,
    Define marriage and tell me what kind of right is that of adoption.

    Last I checked adoption was not a right but a way to help children whose parents are unable or unwilling to be responsible parents to them. The rights are those of the children.

    The marriage: we can’t properly discuss it unless we agree on a definition. What is it? What I understand marriage is, no homosexuals are excluded from that in current legislation. They are forbidden to marry their fathers just like I am. They are allowed to marry a person of the opposite sex, just like I am.

  6. Bendeguz79 says:

    WBSM .
    Adoption of minors is a humanitarian deed.

    The legal limitation of marriage is not just of the opposite sex, but also restricts certain close blood relatives to marry. That is for genetic and health reasons. That described clearly by Moses way back 3,500 years ago.
    But that was the basic standard of human morality.
    All such thing are disregarded today.

  7. Bendeguz79 says:

    Miniszter of “Equal Opportunity”?

    No wonder Hungary is economically broke and its government is disfunctional.

    The “Equal Opportunity” Office is normally a local
    agency , and a branch of labor relation board.

  8. As someone politically conservative but doesn’t support the far right of the alt right who truth be told really support the things they claim to loath (for example Horthy wanted equality in higher education and there were too many Jews 15% vs 6% of their population in higher education and therefore restricted Jews to only 6% and put quota’s. Isn’t that equality. Why should Jews be more) but that is only if it is for someone else but I don’t see how “gay pride’ and much of this movement has anything to do with minority rights and their behavior whatever you think of it is not behavior or a truly oppressed group. That they have these similar marches all around the world how it that truly an oppressed group. Some programs of culture and language support them although you don’t hear them talk about minorities so I disagree.

  9. And by the way does Orban really care. He hates minorities religions in his country like Jews and Muslims and ethnic minorities but I have heard Orban’s advisor is a Jew named Finklestein who is gay. The reason why LBGT are angry is because it is impossible for them to have the same life as someone who gets married to someone of the opposite gender and there is nothing government can do about that other then kidnap babies and give it to them. Nothing of their behavior shows a truly oppressed group. Sorry.

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