Hungary restricts Gay Pride marchers

Feb. 16, 2011 at 11:18 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Organizers of a Gay Pride march in Hungary say Budapest police are using the Hungarian presidency of the European Union as justification to change their route.

Tamas Dombos of Hungary's Hatter Support Society said Budapest police don't want the marchers to gather in front of Parliament when they hold a march later this year, the EUobserver reported Wednesday.

"The organizers decided to make the event more political than in previous years," Dombos told the newspaper. "We need to end in front of Parliament in order to increase our visibility."

In an embarrassing twist for the Hungarian EU presidency, police used it as justification for placing parliament off-limits, the newspaper said.

Dombos said the group was told that tourists coming to see an EU presidency photo exhibit in Parliament square might be upset by the marchers.

"Hungary is representing the whole of the EU, not just in Europe, but worldwide, and this gives a bad message," Dombos said. "The EU is supposed to stand up for human rights."

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