Thousands of people marched at the Budapest Gay Pride against the homophobic escalation of Viktor Orban's government, which earlier this month introduced a law banning the subject of homosexuality in schools. Thirty thousand people, eight thousand more than two years ago, who celebrated LGBTQ rights and protested peacefully among music, dances, flags, fans and rainbow umbrellas to defend themselves from an unusual heat. At the event also a delegation of Italian politicians, including Brando Benifei and Alessandro Zan of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Luxuria and exponents of Più Europa who marched together with the mayor of the capital, Gergely Karácsony, a leading exponent of the opposition.
"That law is an outrage. We live in the 21st century and things like that shouldn't happen. We are no longer in the communist era, we are in the EU and everyone should be able to live freely," said Istvan, 27, who participated in the march in downtown Budapest with her boyfriend.
The European Commission has launched an infringement procedure against the Orban government by defining the law as discriminatory and contrary to the European values of tolerance and individual freedoms. The nationalist prime minister responded by announcing a referendum on the controversial measure "to stop Brussels as it happened five years ago on the issue of migrants". The leader of Fidesz is already looking to the elections of 2022 and with this new tug-of-war with Europe he wants to show that his grip on the country is still solid, so as to gather the consensus that guaranteed him the victory in the last vote. Yet, according to an Ipsos poll last month, 46% of Hungarians are in favor of gay marriage. And according to research by the Globsec think-tank, 55% disagree with the "community demonization ".