Budapest gay pride banned by police: organisers

Published: February 14, 2011

BUDAPEST — Hungarian police have blocked this year’s annual Budapest Gay Pride parade, the organisers announced Monday, slamming what they said was a politically motivated move.

"The Budapest police chief has withdrawn the permission that was granted earlier to the organisers of the 2011 gay pride march," Sandor Steigler, head of the organising Rainbow Mission Foundation, told AFP.

The organisation was preparing a court appeal, he added.

Last week, the organisers of the march applied for an extension to their usual downtown route, which police had earlier accepted.

The extension would have taken the march in front of parliament, where marchers planned to protest against Hungary’s controversial media law and the upcoming new constitution, both perceived as detrimental to the cause of gay rights, Steigler said.

The Rainbow Mission eventually modified its request so that the march would have stopped short of the square, as proposed by police.

But by Friday, permission for the entire march had been withdrawn, citing a disproportionate disruption to traffic, Steigler said.

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