Budapest mayor defiant over Pride violence

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Extremist elements who attacked gay Pride participants in the Hungarian capital over the weekend have been roundly condemned as “intolerant, primitive and cowardly.”

Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky said yesterday that he and his political party, The Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), totally condemn the violence at last weekend’s Gay Parade in Budapest.

On Saturday skinheads and fascists massed along the route of the march for gay rights.

They threw eggs and bottles filled with sand at the marchers. Later that evening almost a dozen gay people were set upon and beaten.

“On these occasions, I consider myself Jewish, Roma and gay,” Mayor Demszky said. He has been mayor of the city since 1990.

The SZDSZ party is a junior partner in the Hungarian coalition government.

Yesterday it proposed that all parties in the country’s parliament sign a declaration against homophobia and intolerance.

The Socialist party, who lead the coalition, indicated they would sign up to the initiative.

Last week Socialist Gábor Szetey became the first elected political official in Hungary to publicly come out as being gay when he opened the 12th Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Film and Cultural Festival in Budapest.

Other politicians have condemned the violence.

“What all political parties have to fight in the first place is a minority of hooligans who repeatedly commit acts of violence under the symbols of the extreme right,” small opposition party MDF MP Andras Pettko told MTI.

SZDSZ yesterday announced that it would ask for same-sex unions to be legalised.