CPAC Hungary conference was an anti-LGBTQ+ cesspit: ‘No migration, no gender, no war’

Prime minister Viktor Orbán during CPAC Hungary 2023.

Conservative activist group CPAC has held this year’s meeting in Hungary, giving a platform to anti-LGBTQ+ speakers making attacks on “woke” culture and marginalised communities.

The right-wing group – full title, the Conservative Political Action Coalition – is best known for its always-controversial annual American conferences, but organisers have spread their roots to other countries with considerable right-wing influence over the past few years.

Since its first US event in 1974, the conference has featured keynote speeches, discussion panels and Q&As from notably controversial, and often anti-LGBTQ+, hard-line right-wing pundits, including former advisor to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Trump himself, and Republican politician Matt Gaetz.

The organisation also supports a number of political pundits across the world, including anti-trans talking head Posie Parker, who claimed that the insurance for her controversial Australian “Let Women Speak” tour was paid for by CPAC.

It has been hosting CPACs outside the US since at least 2017, including in Brazil, Australia, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.

Its Hungary conference was first held in 2022 and included notoriously right-wing speakers from across Europe and the US – and this year’s event was no different.

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Featuring speeches from right-wing Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, Trump supporter Paul Gosar – the Arizona politician described as the most dangerous man in Congress, who has reported ties to white nationalists and conspiracy theorists – and the chairman of the Austria Freedom Party, Herbert Kickl, the two-day conference took place between this week.

Thursday’s (4 May) session kicked off in Budapest’s Bálna leisure centre – decorated with signs reading “no woke zone” – with a keynote speech from Orbán who urged former president Trump to return to office.

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“I’m sure if president Trump would be the president, there would be no war in Ukraine and Europe,” he said. “Come back Mr President, make America great again and bring us peace.”

He also decried so-called woke culture, saying: “No migration, no gender, no war.”

He added: “Hungary is actually an incubator, where experiments are done on the future of conservative policies. Hungary is the place where we didn’t just talk about defeating the progressives and liberals and causing a conservative Christian political turn, but we actually did it.”

Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation widely condemned by EU states

Orbán’s anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including a ban on LGBTQ+ content for under-18s, are among the most vicious in Europe.

The government recently attempted to pass a bill letting citizens “report” same-sex parents to authorities. The proposed legislation was vetoed by president Katalin Novak.

Members of the EU have condemned the homophobic road that Hungarian officials are going down to the extent that some have argued the country should be thrown out of the union entirely.

Elsewhere during the conference, Georgian prime minister Irakli Garibashvili said he believed “family is a union between a man and a woman,” while the director of the Hungarian right-wing think tank, the Center for Fundament Rights, Miklós Szánthó, said a “father is a man, the mother is a woman“.

CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp also made his inevitable appearance, saying that conservatives would not allow so-called globalists to “destroy our civilisation and culture”.

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The Fox news contributor added: “We will keep fighting, we will not allow you to take over the minds of our children, we will not allow you to corrupt our election. We will not allow you to separate us from the plan that was written in the heavens thousands of years ago for each and every one of our lives to be on the Earth, standing up for what is true.”

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson made a virtual appearance during the conference, saying he wished he was in Budapest. “If I ever get fired, have some time and can leave, I’ll be there with you,” he said.

Tucker left the station abruptly last month, shortly after the media outlet settled a defamation case for $787.5 million (more than £625 million).

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