BTL COVID-19 Resource Guide

As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]

Letters: Hungary holds hope and example for Eastern European countries

By | 2018-01-16T01:13:31-05:00 June 7th, 2007|Opinions|

After reading Rex Wockner’s reports on anti-lgbt violence from the former Soviet Union,(“Bloody attack at Moscow Pride,” BTL, May 31), including the arrests and beatings in Moscow, I can’t help but contrast it with my experiences during my visit to Hungary earlier this year. I think what strikes me most, is that even after 40 years of being under Communism, Hungarian society is still a tolerant and open society where dissent is actually cherished and to an extent, encouraged. The riots in Budapest and around the country last year were directed at the Prime Minister and the MSZP (Magyar Szocialista Partja) not because of right-wing rabble rousing, but more because Prime Minister Gyurcsany admitted to having lied to hold on to power. The rioting was caused by the famous Clinton mantra, but with an addendum, “Yes, its the economy stupid…and you lied about it!”
Homosexuality in Hungary is actually no big deal. Everywhere I went, I was asked do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend? The various social questions I got asked, while acceptable there, would make the average American blush. When I told my cousins I wanted to see the Gellert Baths in Budapest (partly because of the beautiful Jugendstil architecture), their reaction was don’t take the waters there because the sexual activity is over the top. Instead, they directed me to a place with a more relaxed atmosphere with the advice “you’ll have a better time.” No homophobia there, and they were right.
It,Aeos worth noting that same-sex common law relationships have been recognized in Hungary since 1996. After the decision, the general social reaction was OK, it’s done. Lets get on with something important.
Marriage isnt legal yet, but the general consensus is that right now there are higher priorities to be dealt with. Yes, MSZP says they’ll pass pro-marriage legislation, and Fidesz says they’ll go the other way, but neither party is putting forth any legislation, much as when the country passed anti-Semitic legislation prior to World War II, which went largely unenforced.
I can only hope that one of these days, the Russian people wake up and realize that their closed, authoritarian society is backward and oppressive, and will look towards Hungary and the rest of Europe as an example of tolerance, openness, and fairness.

{ITAL Noel Siksai
Bloomfield Hills}

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.