Court overturns Budapest police’s ban of gay pride march

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The Budapest Metropolitan Court has overturned a police decision to deny permission for Budapest’s Pride march planned for June 18th 2011.

The court overruled a decision made by the Budapest police on February 11th to deny an application by Rainbow Mission Foundation, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organisation, to extend the route of the 2011 Budapest Gay Pride March to the parliament building. The police had blamed their decision on concerns over traffic disruption, although campaigners said the decision was politically motivated.

“The court’s decision was a victory not only for the  community of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people, but for the right of all Hungarians to freedom of assembly,” said Boris Dittrich of New York based Human Rights Watch.

Budapest Pride has been heavily guarded by police in the last two years.

In 2008, 1,500 people joined a gay rights demonstration and Hungarian police were forced to use tear gas and a water cannon to clear the route for marchers to leave.

There were also violent scenes at Pride in 2007, which was plagued by skinheads and fascists shouting abuse and throwing petrol bombs at the peaceful marchers.