LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Budapest Pride ban must be reversed

On 14 February 2011, the Budapest police banned the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) Pride March scheduled for 18 June 2011. The reason provided for such a ban was that the Pride March will hinder the flow of traffic.

ILGA-Europe is appalled by the decision of the Budapest police as theirs is a clear breach of the right of freedom of assembly. We therefore urge the immediately reversal of this decision to ban the Pride March and instead ask the police to ensure that the Pride March takes place and is protected.

Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“We are seriously concerned with this development. Hungary currently holds the Presidency of the European Union and surely sending the wrong signal about the Union’s respect of human right of all. Indeed, such a blatant denial of the right to free and peaceful assembly goes against the EU fundamental principles of democracy and respect of diversity.”

Peaceful LGBTI Pride Marches have taken place in Budapest for several years. However, during the last few years the participants of Budapest Pride March experienced attacks by nationalist and right wing extremists.

The European Court of Human Rights made it clear that LGBTI people are equally entitled to the right to peaceful assembly and expression and that the state and the police have a positive obligation to protect LGBTI public events from violent attacks by the opponents.

Evelyne Paradis, added:

“The ban on Pride March adds to our concerns with the deteriorating situation for LGBTI in Hungary. Currently there is a proposal to amend the country’s Constitution to limit the scope of marriage to one man and one woman with the effect of banning the possibility of a future opening of marriage to same-sex couples. Additionally, the current Hungarian EU presidency programme has no reference to the rights of LGBTI people even in events that deal with equality. Moreover, a draft media law is currently being revised after heavy criticism from the EU aimed to prevent among other things same-sex affections in the media. We believe that represents dangerous signal not only to LGBTI people in Hungary, but also across the EU. We call upon EU institutions and member states to remind Hungary of its duties and about the EU fundamental principles of equality, non-discrimination and respect for human rights for all.”

More on the European Court of Human Rights judgement on Warsaw Pride ban in 2005.