A Pride protest in Budapest, capital of Hungary, in 2019. (Getty/ATTILA KISBENEDEK)
Ahead of Budapest Pride, 30 embassies from across the world have demanded “freedom from violence” for queer people in Hungary.
The open letter, published Monday (19 July) was signed by the embassies of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was also signed by 12 cultural institutes in Hungary.
Human Rights are universal and should apply equally to all people. The UK is committed to the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. pic.twitter.com/Nk56rHOvf6
— UK in Hungary (@ukinhungary) July 20, 2021
They expressed their “full support for members of the LGBT+ community and their rights to equality and non-discrimination, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and freedom from violence” and declared that “respect for the rule of law and universal human rights are the foundations upon which democratic states are built”.
The embassies did not shy away from directly expressing concerns over the repeated attacks on LGBT+ rights in Hungary by prime minister Viktor Orban, from outlawing civil unions and same-sex adoption to even launching a bid to legally erase trans people.
Most recently, the country passed a bill which bans the “promotion” of LGBT+ issues in schools, establishes a government-approved list sex education providers in schools and bans any LGBT+ content in advertising or media which could be seen by minors.
The embassies wrote: “Concerned by recent developments that threaten the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, we encourage steps in every country to ensure the equality and dignity of all human beings irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and stress the need for elected leaders and governments to show respect for and protect the rights of LGBT+ persons.”
They added that they would support Budapest Pride, celebrating its “role in promoting equality of treatment and social acceptance for all LGBT+ persons, and contributing to the creation of a more open, just, inclusive and equal society”.
The European Union is set to take legal action against Hungary for “violating” LGBT+ human rights
The EU announced last week that it would be taking action against Hungary for “violations of fundamental rights of LGBT+ people”.
The European Commission said that Hungary’s ban on the “promotion” of LGBT+ issues in schools and the media “violates human dignity, freedom of expression and information, the right to respect of private life” and the “right to non-discrimination”.
The country has been given a formal notice to “correct” the issue within two months, and if it fails to do so, the case could reach the European Court of Justice, which may impose significant financial penalties on Hungary.