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Embassies unite in solidarity with Budapest Pride

On the occasion of the 22nd Budapest Pride Festival, the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section forwarded a Joint Press Release to the Budapest Business Journal today, issued by a host of embassies in Hungary ahead of the annual Budapest Pride march this Saturday, July 8.

The joint press release was issued by the embassies of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the British Council.

"On the occasion of the 22nd Budapest Pride Festival, we convey our support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities in Hungary and their right to express themselves peacefully and lawfully," reads the press release. "We note the important advocacy work of the LGBTQ civil society organizations in Hungary today. Respect for human rights - including justice, equality, non-discrimination, freedom of expression, as well as the non-interference in the practice of these rights - and the rule of law are the foundations upon which democratic states are built."

"International human rights law is grounded on the broad premise that all individuals are entitled to the same rights and freedoms without discrimination (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 2)," the press release continues. "Human rights apply equally to every human being, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the essence of our democratic values. Celebrating diversity is a sure way to promote respect for human rights."

The statement goes on to "reject and condemn acts of violence and discrimination in all regions of the world committed against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity." While welcoming positive developments at the international, regional and national levels in the fight against discrimination, the signatories also "encourage further steps in every country to ensure the equality and dignity of all human beings irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity."

Budapest Pride, which the press release notes has the longest history of such events in Central and Eastern Europe, promotes the principle of equal treatment for LGBTQ persons, which it sees as "an important aspect of a tolerant and respectful society."