Slovenian activists welcome Hungary and Poland prime ministers with defiant rainbow protest

Slovenia LGBT activists Pride flags Hungary Poland

LGBT+ activists in Slovenia have welcomed the prime ministers of Hungary and Poland with a defiant rainbow protest.

Rémy Bonny, an LGBT+ activist and the executive director of nonprofit organisation Forbidden Colours, shared images of the bold demonstration on Twitter Friday (9 July). The images show a variety of LGBT+ Pride flags entwined in a fence across from a busy road and walkway.

Bonny explained: “Slovenian LGBTIQ organisations prepared a rainbow welcome to the Hungarian and Polish Prime Ministers during their visit to Slovenia.

“Just across the main entrance of where the meeting took place the fence was covered in rainbow flags.

“Slovenia rocks!”

The protest comes as Slovenia and Poland have sided with Hungary in a stand-off with other European Union (EU) countries over LGBT+ rights. Last month, Hungary passed a bill that bans the discussion of LGBT+ people on media, school materials and advertisements aimed at minors.

The Slovenian LGBT+ protest was widely praised online with one person saying they hoped the Hungarian and Polish prime ministers “enjoyed the view”.

EU leaders have continuously demanded Hungary to repeal the cruel anti-LGBT+ law, and Dutch premier Matte Rutte bluntly told Hungary to get on board with equality or leave the EU altogether. According to Reuters, out Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel told reporters in June that “only two countries are completely on Hungary’s side: Slovenia and Poland”.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has responded to the backlash from EU leaders by claiming the new law is “not about homosexuality”. According to the Independent, he said: “It’s about the kids and the parents.

“I am defending the rights of homosexual guys, this law is not about them.”

Hungary Viktor Orban

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban pictured in Budapest in December 2020. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty)Orbán added that it is “up to the parents to decide how children are acquainted with the issue of sexuality”.

Slovenia’s prime minister Janez Janša has come to Orbán’s defence, saying the Hungarian leader should be allowed to express his ideas. Reuters reported Janša told reporters at Brdo, an estate near the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, that Orbán “has the right to explain how he envisages the future of the European Union”.

He said the imposition of an outlook by Western bloc members was the “fastest road to collapse” of the EU. Janša argued there are “differences that need to be taken into account and respect”.

“So if you now judge a person based on imaginary European values which everyone perceives differently, and dual standards are used, then I think that this is the fastest road to collapse,” Janša said.