Hungarian radio station fires staff for posting anti-gay image

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Hungarian radio station has fired two staffers for posting to the station’s website a photo montage of a gay government official wearing a pink triangle and standing outside the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The official in question, State Secretary Gabor Szetey, recently became the first openly gay government member in Hungary.

The radio station, Lanchid Radio, removed the photo and apologised for the incident by releasing a statement that said: “The owners and managers of Lanchid Radio condemn what happened and apologise to State Secretary Gabor Szetey and to everyone who was offended by the picture in question.”

Szetey also released a statement, according to the Associated Press, in which he said, “I have one message for those who did this and those who agree with it-I cannot be intimidated.”

Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany condemned the photograph on Wednesday, adding that he believes it represents a new threat to the country from neo-fascist movements.

“This is a scoundrel act because somebody doesn’t understand that Auschwitz is one of greatest tragedies of Europe and the history of humanity,” Gyurcsany told reporters. “Fascists are gathering. They aren’t knocking on doors but are here among us.”

According to a Reuters report, Jewish groups in Hungary have complained of rising anti-Semitism and the use of symbols like a red-and-white striped flag during anti-government demonstrations last year. Its supporters say it is a medieval Hungarian flag.

Chrys Hudson © 2007; All Rights Reserved.