Britain among countries backing Budapest Pride
The Budapest embassies of the UK, US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France and Germany have expressed their support for Pride events in the city.
Budapest Pride was the target of violent fascist attacks last year.
An estimated 1,500 people participated in an LGBT solidarity 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.
Today a joint press release was issued by the Embassies of Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“On the occasion of the 2009 Budapest Pride Festival, we express our support for, and solidarity with, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Hungary,” they said.
“We support the right of these communities to use this traditional occasion to march together peacefully and lawfully, in order to express their desire to end the silence surrounding the specific issues that affect them.
“Human rights — including justice, equality, humanity, respect and freedom of expression — and the rule of law are the foundations upon which democratic states are built.
“Indeed, international human rights law is grounded on the premise that all individuals are entitled to the same rights and freedoms, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“It is this respect for fundamental human values that obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and to ensure that all people enjoy equal opportunities.
“Today, many individuals face discrimination, both systemic and overt, based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
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“Our governments seek to combat such discrimination by promoting the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We urge all governments to ensure that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity form the basis for criminal penalties.”
Budapest Pride begins on Sunday and includes events such as parties and a film festival alongside seminars and self-defence classes.
The promotion of gay rights by UK diplomats is not without controversy.
Last month the British ambassador to Poland was told by the country’s civil rights ombudsman he is “exceeding his authority” by promoting a gay Pride march in Warsaw.
Ric Todd was accused by Catholic groups of “representing the ‘homosexual lobby” after he gave Polish gay rights leaders a UK Guide To Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender People And Their Rights, translated into Polish.
Related topics: Europe