On the rise of a dictatorship in Hungary: Budapest Pride opposes the constitution and its 4th amendment

Budapest Pride opposes the new constitution and its 4th amendment. We stand in support of all citizens’ initiatives, protests and acts of civil disobedience that draw attention to this attack on democracy, constitutionalism, and the rule of law and that defend these values by peaceful means.

We, the organizers of Budapest Pride, believe that solidarity, social responsibility, and the inalienable right of freedom are fundamental values. Both as an organization and as part of a wider alliance of citizens, we feel that it is our civic duty to support all groups deprived of their rights. 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.

We condemn the antidemocratic administration that has repeatedly trampled on the rights and liberties of minority groups through exclusion and repression. We are outraged that the 4th amendment of the constitution dismantles the economic autonomy of universities; includes “student contracts,” which would give students access to state-financed higher education only under the condition that they remain in Hungary for a certain number of years; and restricts freedom of speech, the independence of the justice system, and free electoral campaigns. We are appalled that the 4th amendment invalidates 22 years of decisions made by the Constitutional Court, allows the state to discriminate against certain religious institutions, limits the power of the Constitutional Court, and, last but not least, excludes childless couples, unmarried couples, and same-sex couples from its definition of family. We condemn the constitution’s new definition of family and believe that family is any community seen as such by its members. Furthermore, we believe that marriage is a legal bond that should be made available to any adult couple, same-sex or different-sex, who freely and willingly choose it.

Budapest Pride officially joined the civil demonstration held last Saturday, and we also supported the demonstration in the Buda Castle on Monday evening. Budapest Pride organizer Péter Hanzli was among the citizens and activists who spoke out on Monday evening. Representing the Hungarian LGBT Alliance, Péter Hanzli underlined the fact that the amendments to the constitution exclude hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples from the definition of the family; as such, the constitution is discriminatory and completely contradictory to European norms.

We condemn all forms of authority that paint peaceful protests and civil disobedience as violent and antisocial. We believe that at times like these, taking social responsibility and standing in solidarity can move mountains. We ask everyone to dare to raise their voice to protect their own and others’ rights and to speak out against an administration that shows no respect for equality or freedom.