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Pride week rainbow flags stripped from city council buildings

August 25th, 2020

As police launch a criminal procedure against a far-right former MP who stripped off the LGBT rainbow flag from two district council buildings,  a conservative critic of the government doubts whether exhibiting the flag was a wise move on the part of opposition city leaders.

When this year’s ’Pride week’, during which the annual pride march takes place, was cancelled, in accordance with coronavirus safety regulations, the Mayor of Budapest and two districts of the capital hung the rainbow flag on the facades of their council buildings. Two were then torn down by far-right ‘Our Country’ party official and former Jobbik MP Előd Novák, who was then briefly detained by the police and is now under investigation for vandalism.         

On the Magyar Hang website on Monday, Szabolcs Szerető reverses the traditional homophobic saying (‘why don’t they do it behind closed doors?’) against Novák, writing that people are fully entitled to be homophobic, ‘as long as they do it behind closed doors’. He warns however that millions of people in Hungary who would otherwise vote against the government, are averse to the display of LGBT feelings. This being the case, Szerető wonders if it is wise for the opposition to fight the 2022 electoral campaign under the rainbow flag.

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