18th Budapest Pride Festival: June 30 – July 7, 2013

The 18th Budapest Pride Festival, a week-long series of diverse cultural and social activities, will begin this year on June 30. Registered with the police yesterday, the Budapest Pride March will be on Saturday, July 6. Given the political and societal climate, the festival’s theme for this year is the importance of solidarity and actively standing up for each other: Our freedom is your freedom.

As the longest-running lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) event in Central and Eastern Europe, the Budapest Pride Festival has an important place in the LGBTQ movements of the region. The festival will celebrate its 18th anniversary this year. Over the years, the number of participants, venues, and events has grown, with last year’s festival offering over 100 programs. Details about the events of the 2013 festival will be available on our website starting in June.

The Budapest Pride March was registered with the police yesterday. In 2011 and 2012 the police refused to grant a permit for the event. In both cases, we were forced to appeal to the Municipal Tribunal, which overturned the ban, affirming the right to freedom of assembly for LGBTQ people and their supporters. We hope that this year the police will grant the permit for the event and provide the necessary security.

The last three years have seen a systematic destruction of democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law in Hungary. The political climate for LGBTQ people has further deteriorated in the last year, with the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and the new Civil Code having serious consequences for the rights of LGBTQ people in Hungary. We believe that a state that treats certain people as second-class citizens infringes not only on their rights but also jeopardizes the freedom of the whole society.

Budapest Pride, organized annually by the non-profit Rainbow Mission Foundation, aims to build and strengthen the LGBTQ community in Hungary, reach out to the heterosexual/ cisgender majority, decrease the stereotypes and prejudices against LGBTQ people, and raise awareness of the importance of legal equality and equal opportunities.