Human Rights Watch is hailing the Budapest Metropolitan Court’s February 18th decision to allow this summer’s Gay Pride Parade to march along an extended route, ending at the parliament building. This was a reversal of the Budapest police department’s initial rejection of an application submitted by parade organizers, the Rainbow Mission Foundation. RMF posted their official response online after the police department’s decision became public:
“Police ban Gay Pride March in Budapest
We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations are appalled by the decision of the Budapest Police prohibiting the LGBT Pride March to be held on 18 June 2011. The reason is the same as two years ago: the march disrupts the traffic. The police had already acknowledged the march for part of the route in September 2010, but the modified longer route has now been rejected.”
Boris Dittrich, acting director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch’s reaction to the court’s ruling was one of praise for the court and caution for the police.
“The court’s decision was a victory not only for the community of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people, but for the right of all Hungarians to freedom of assembly…Instead of trying to obstruct the fundamental rights to freedom of assembly and expression, the police authorities should fulfill their obligation to protect the demonstrators,” Dittrich said. “The court has done the right thing. The police should follow suit.”