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Hungary’s Viktor Orbán launches scathing new attack on queer people at an event to mark the end of World War One

Emma Powys Maurice August 25, 2020
Viktor Orbán

Viktor Orbán speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the WWI Trianon-memorial (Attila Kisbenedeck/AFP/Getty)

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has used an event commemorating the end of WWI as an opportunity to launch yet another barb at LGBT+ people.

The far-right leader made the comments at a national event to inaugurate a monument commemorating the Treaty of Trianon, which was signed after the end of the war.

He called upon Hungary’s neighbouring countries to unite to preserve their Christian roots as western Europe “experiments” with same-sex families, immigration and atheism.

“Western Europe had given up on … a Christian Europe, and instead experiments with a godless cosmos, rainbow families, migration and open societies,” Orbán said in a speech.

He declared that the new monument, a 100-metre long and 4-metre wide ramp carved into a street near Budapest’s parliament building, was a call to central European nations to strengthen their alliance and rally around what he called the “Polish flagship”.

His speech will have reaffirmed the country’s close relationship with Poland, Hungary’s main ally in central Europe and equally conservative in its opposition to LGBT+ people.

In parallel with Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), Orbán’s administration has pursued policies that persistently erode LGBT+ rights and freedoms.

One of his very first acts after his pandemic power grab was to strip away the ability for trans people to legally change gender, an act that drew fierce condemnation from international human rights groups.

The move had the effect of legally erasing the Hungarian trans people, and it is already driving them to suicide.

Unfortunately the homophobic sentiment has shown no sign of improving as the lockdown eases; Last weekend, two rainbow flags were torn down from municipal buildings in Budapest.

Among the culprits was a Hungarian politician, who was seen using a ladder to climb Budapest City Hall to reach the flag.

He was filmed by the far-right Our Homeland Movement, which proudly shared the video online declaring that “this anti-family symbol has no place on the street, especially on the facade of the capital’s local government”.

It prompted a warning from the US Embassy that neo-Nazi groups should not be tolerated.

More: Europe, Hungary, Law and Justice party (PiS), Poland, viktor orban

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