Budapest Pride 2011 (Photo: Piotr Wcislik)
A court has overturned a police ban on a planned gay Pride parade in Budapest, Hungary, set to take place in July.
The Metropolitan Court reversed the authorities’ refusal to grant Pride organisers the right to use a route commonly used for other marches.
The police had refused permission for the July 7 march claiming that it would be impossible to redirect traffic.
The Pride organisers, the Rainbow Mission Foundation, had earlier announced that the march would take place along a route starting at City Park and going to Alkotmany Street along Andrassy Avenue, a major thoroughfare.
The route is one of the most commonly used routes for marches in Budapest. On January 21, government supporters held a Peace March for Hungary along the same route.
While the court rejected the police’s basis for the decision it did not rule on the discriminatory aspect of the ban.
Pride organisers said that they plan to take further legal action against the police for contravening the country’s Act on Equal Treatment and the Promotion of Equal Opportunities which forbids discrimination based on factors such as sexual orientation and sexual identity.
Human Rights Watch had earlier said that the police ban was “a flimsy pretext to stop LGBT people from exercising the same rights as everyone else.”
This is not the first time Hungarian police have tried to interfere with the Pride march. In 2011, when the Rainbow Mission Foundation requested an extension to the planned march route, which already included Andrassy Avenue, Budapest police denied their request, stating that the extended route would unduly obstruct traffic. A court also overturned the police decision.
In 2008, Budapest police denied a permit for a gay Pride march on similar grounds but withdrew its objections following a letter from 15 LGBT organisations and Gabor Demszky, the Budapest mayor at the time.