Court says police discriminated when banning the Budapest Pride March in 2012

Submitted by Háttér Society

On January 16, 2014 the Metropolitan Court of Budapest found that the Budapest Police committed direct discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation when banning the Budapest Pride March in 2012. The case was launched by Háttér Society and an individual, who were represented in court by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. The decision is appealable.

Háttér Society and the individual turned to the court after the Budapest Police banned the Budapest Pride March in 2012. The banning decision used arguments that had already been found unlawful by a court following a similar ban by the police in 2011. The petitioners also found it problematic that several other events following the same route were not banned, even those with substantially larger number of participants.

Based on those two circumstances the Metropolitan Court of Budapest found not only that the police discriminated against the petitioners and the LGBTQI community represented by them, but also that the ban amounted to harassment: the police decision was suitable to create a hostile environment against sexual minorities. In the oral reasoning the court argued that the Budapest Police had based its decision not on real reasons, but banned the Pride March because of the sexual orientation of the gay community.

Organizers of the Budapest Pride turned to the court back in 2012, and the court had already annulled the police decision, so the March could go on. The court now found that the police decision was also discriminatory, which was not redressed by the earlier court decision.

The court ordered the Budapest Police to issue a letter of apology and refrain from continuing the practice.

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