After the Gay Pride Parade in Budapest

In my Saturday blog I praised the Hungarian police because they handled the counterdemonstrators relatively well when these counterdemonstrators attacked the peacefully demonstrating gays and lesbians. I learned only later that unfortunately after the demonstration was over and the participants began to disperse, these skinheads and other unsavory characters preyed upon the gays in the dark sidestreets. Eleven or twelve people were pretty badly beaten up. The police by then were nowhere to be found. According to some critics, the police arrested only very few people when the number of those who physically attacked the demonstrators was close to one hundred.

A liberal (SZDSZ) parliamentary member called upon all five parties to condemn these attacks which were inspired by an extreme right-wing party, the Jobbik. The name of this party is an interesting play on words. "Jobb" in Hungarian means "right," "jobbik" "better ones." The Fidesz refused. According to one of the party leaders, the real problem is not these vicious attacks, but that the police cannot keep order. Interesting logic. The real reason for the refusal is fairly simple. Several Fidesz politicians received political support from this extreme right-wing party in the municipal elections. Obviously, it doesn’t matter how far to the right, how violent, how unacceptable this small party is, the Fidesz needs them. The Fidesz doesn’t want to lose them. This is a very dangerous game.

On the brighter side. After Gábor Szetey, a government undersecretary, openly admitted his homosexuality, a quick poll was taken. Of the 74% of the people who had heard about it, half praised him for it and 36% felt that it was a "private matter." Only 4 percent thought that homosexuality should be kept a deep, dark secret. Fifty-two percent of the people didn’t think that Szetey’s revelations would negatively influence the people’s opinion of the government, 36% thought it would. Fifty-six percent said it would not upset them if their children turned out to be gay, 36% said they would be upset, and 8% felt that they would have difficulties accepting the fact. These are actually not bad results. Too bad that a small violent minority’s actions ruin the reputation of a whole country.