Chief of police, Gabor Toth, who cited potential traffic chaos as his reason for signing an order to bar the Budapest Gay Pride March, has been forced to reverse his position.
The planning for the march, scheduled to take place on July 5 in the Hungarian capital, had come to a halt as a result of Gabor Toth’s attempts to keep the parade off the streets.
Toth defended his signing of the order by claiming that the parade would obstruct major traffic routes in the center of the Hungarian capital. He then suggested that the event be held in a “fixed location.”
Fifteen LGBT organisations opposed the decision, reminding officials that the parade had taken place on the proposed route for the past several years and there had previously been no traffic problems.
The groups also stated that holding the gathering in a park or stadium would effectively “hide it from the public eye,” forcing gays into a police-ordered closet.
Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of International Lesbian and Gay Association-Europe stated that the ultra-nationalist attacks on the 2007 Budapest march were the real reason behind the ban.
She also claimed that Toth’s traffic hindrance explanation was merely an excuse “for the unwillingness of the Budapest police chief to take his responsibilities seriously to ensure order.”
The LGBT backlash has now forced the Police Chief to revoke his earlier decision. Negotiations to determine the route for the event have also been re-opened.