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.

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