Irish MEP Maria Walsh among thousands in Budapest Pride march

Almost 30,000 people took part in the march held in spite of Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Crowds of people in a Pride march

With the recent news that the Hungarian government is to hold a referendum in an attempt to prove a majority of the population agree with their introduction of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, it was all the more heartening to see tens of thousands of people marching at Budapest Pride.

Crowds filled the streets, massively outnumbering a couple of small counter protests chanting slogans such as “dirty gays” and “ban it”.

Irish Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh, herself a member of the LGBTQ+ community, was present at the march. Speaking just before Budapest Pride began, Walsh shared, “We are here to show support for our Hungarian rainbow family members, activists and allies. We are here to shout from the roof tops that fundamental human rights and equality is a principle of the European Union and therefore needs to be respected and supported by Orbán and Fidesz here in Hungary.”

“Love equals Love,” Walsh continued.

The EU previously announced it is to launch legal action against Hungary and Poland for their anti-LGBTQ+ actions.

In a press statement, the EU stated, “Equality and the respect for dignity and human rights are core values of the EU, enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. The Commission will use all the instruments at its disposal to defend these values.

“The Commission is launching infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland related to the equality and the protection of fundamental rights.”

Earlier in the week, MEP Walsh had stated, “The importance of putting in place legal and financial deterrents for countries like Hungary and Poland who continue to actively undermine the fundamental values of our EU is essential. We need to make a clear statement that everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, skin colour and creed are welcomed in the European Union.”

Walsh continued, “After the most recent state-sponsored LGBTIQ-phobia and disinformation campaigns by the Hungarian government, 18 (EU) Member States signed a statement, including Ireland, calling for the Commission to investigate the illegal acts against our LGBTI+ communities. Finally a very clear sign that enough is enough. We cannot let this hate speech and anti-minority narrative continue.”

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