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Whoopi Goldberg Records Gay Rights Video Message for Hungary

Whoopigoldberg

Whoopi Goldberg has recorded an amazing video message for the people of Hungary, where a Gay Pride Festival is scheduled to take place in Budapest this week, culminating in a parade on September 5th.

Budapest1 In past years, Budapest's Gay Pride event has been marked by violence. In July 2008, 49 arrests were made and 10 people injured as protesters threw eggs, tomatoes, feces, and other objects at Pride participants.

"Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet block, the struggle for freedom continues. The people in Hungary who are participating in Gay Pride are expressing those freedoms, just like they do in so many other cities in the European Union. Not everyone celebrates Gay Pride. Not everyone agrees with Gay Pride, but all citizens of Hungary who support democracy need to say to themselves, 'You know, people can disagree, but violence against other human beings — that's not good. It's wrong.'  Now if I were in Budapest, you know I would be marching with you."

Listen to Whoopi's full message, AFTER THE JUMP...

Thirteen embassies (Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States) have issued a joint statement in support of the Budapest Pride Festival. Read the statement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Hungarian Court Annuls Domestic Partners Law

A law passed a year ago (which Reuters reported as a "civil partnership" law) that was set to go into effect in January 2009 and would have given unmarried or same-sex couples many of the rights of married heterosexual couples, has been annulled by Hungary's Constitutional Court:

Hungary"The court says the new legislation is unconstitutional because it would give unmarried heterosexual couples practically the same rights as married ones, 'downgrading' the institution of marriage. At the same time, the court says, in its decision announced Monday, that a law allowing domestic partnerships for gay couples would not be unconstitutional — as long as it applied only to them and not to heterosexual couples, as well."

Previously
Hungary Passes Same-Sex Civil Partnership Law [tr]
Photo of Gay Hungarian Couple Wins World Press Photo Award [tr]
Marchers Defiant as Nationalists Attack Budapest Gay Pride March [tr]


Marchers Defiant as Nationalists Attack Budapest Gay Pride March

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At least 49 arrests were made and 10 people injured on Saturday during a gay pride march in Budapest, Hungary as nationalists and neo-Nazis attacked marchers and riot police who had assembled to quell the anticipated violence.

According to the Budapest Times, "Far right activists had been called to arms weeks in advance via extremist websites, and a massive police presence was in place to keep the expected angry protesters away from the gay marchers. Two-metre-high metal barricades had been erected along both sides of Andrassy út to keep agitators out of the path of the parade. The participants in the parade - well over a thousand members of gay, lesbian and transsexual groups, as well as sympathisers - were fully expecting the attacks. They wore plastic raincoats and carried multi-coloured umbrellas as eggs, tomatoes and other missiles rained down on them. Rioters turned on the police at a number of locations. Shortly after 4pm, the police had to disperse gangs armed with groceries, bottles and stones as they attempted to intercept the gay marchers at Oktogon. A police van was set ablaze in the melée, and tear gas and water cannon were used to clear the way for the parade. Cordons were set up to prevent people from approaching Andrássy út from side streets."

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Bloomberg reports: "Parade-goers carried rainbow-colored umbrellas and signs carrying slogans such as 'Jesus taught us to love. Why do you hate?' The truck at the head of the parade carried two men who acted out a mock marriage with a female officiant. Their black suits became caked with egg yolks as the parade progressed. Gabor Szetey, a former state secretary in Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's cabinet who announced he was gay one year ago, said Gay Pride Day was no different from Hungarian Pride Day in an address to parade participants. 'Hungary, which is a European democracy, must accept people who are different,' he said. 'We can't choose whether we are gay, Roma or Jewish, but we can control our own destinies.'

A video report from the BBC, AFTER THE JUMP...

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