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 â 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…
Joint statement from 13 Embassies in Budapest:
"On the occasion of the 2009 Budapest Pride Festival, we express our support for, and solidarity with, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in Hungary. We support the right of these communities to use this traditional occasion to march together peacefully and lawfully, in order to express their desire to end the silence surrounding the specific issues that affect them.
âHuman rights â including justice, equality, humanity, respect and freedom of expression â and the rule of law are the foundations upon which democratic states are built. Indeed, international human rights law is grounded on the premise that all individuals are entitled to the same rights and freedoms, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
âIt is this respect for fundamental human values that obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and to ensure that all people enjoy equal opportunities.
âToday, many individuals face discrimination, both systemic and overt, based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
âOur governments seek to combat such discrimination by promoting the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We urge all governments to ensure that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity form the basis for criminal penalties.
Our governments` policies in this area are in accordance with the principles set out in the Joint statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity delivered at the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December, 2008."