Homophobic former MP arrested after scaling city hall to tear down ‘propaganda’ Pride flag – then throwing it in the bin
A Hungarian politician has been arrested after using a ladder to climb the front of Budapest City Hall to pull down a Pride flag.
The far-right Our Homeland Movement uploaded a video of its vice president Előd Novák, a former MP for the Jobbik party, removing the rainbow flag, installed to mark what would have been the Hungarian capital’s Pride celebrations before they were cancelled due to coronavirus.
Novák and a group of thugs arrived at the city hall carrying a ladder, which the lawmaker used to scale the building and reach the poles where three flags — for Hungary, Budapest and Pride — were flying.
Pulling down the 15-foot rainbow, he then dropped it to the ground, before climbing down and depositing it in a nearby bin as he raved loudly about homosexuality.
Novák’s laughing cronies filmed the entire incident as police arrived and retrieved the flag from the bin, only for the politician to pick it up and run away with it unchallenged.
After disposing of the flag in another bin from which it has not been retrieved, Novák returned to the city hall to collect the ladder left at the scene.
The politician was taken away in the back of a police car, with local media reporting that he was arrested for vandalism.
In a statement, the Our Homeland Movement derided the flag as “LGBTQP propaganda”, insisting “this anti-family symbol has no place on the street, especially on the facade of the capital’s local government”.
The far-right group then attempted to conflate the LGBT+ movement with Soviet-style communism — the opposite argument to that taken by homophobes in communist countries, who often depict “degenerate” homosexuality as a product of Western capitalist ideals.
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Our Homeland called for “a ban on homosexual propaganda marches”, claiming it “is a shame that just a hundred years after Governor Miklós Horthy freed the capital from its red rags, [Mayor of Budapest] Gergely Karácsony not only brings back that sentiment, but also provokes the majority, well-off Hungarian people by displaying such an anti-human flag”.
Anti-LGBT views thrive in Hungary under Viktor Orban.
Hungary’s president Viktor Orbán is considered one of the foremost racist, anti-semitic and homophobic world leaders.
Activists say that Orbán and his far-right Fidesz party have created a culture of persecution of LGBT+ people in the country — warning that the government is complicit in anti-LGBT+ crackdowns.
In 2012, Orbán created a new Hungarian constitution which bans gay marriage and does not explicitly protect gay people from discrimination. In 2016, he also blocked a Europe-wide agreement on LGBT+ rights.
In May, Hungary passed a law seeking to legally erase transgender people, ending any prospect of legal gender recognition by defining gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes”.