Thousands Expected To Join Budapest Pride March To Protest Anti-LGBT Law.

Thousands of Hungarians are expected to join the annual Budapest Pride march in a show of support for the LGBT community and to protest against a law banning schools from using materials deemed as promoting homosexuality.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in power since 2010, faces a difficult election next year amid increasing economic difficulties exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

His right-wing government has stepped up its campaign against LGBT people as part of an ongoing drive to depict itself as the guardian of Christian values against perceived Western liberalism that also included blocking migrants from transiting Hungary and closing down private-owned liberal media institutions.

The European Commission last week launched legal action against Budapest over the new law, which came into force this month, saying it is discriminatory and contravenes European values of tolerance and individual freedom.

Organizers of the July 24 march have called on supporters to stand up against hatred and resist attempts by what they called "power-hungry politicians" to intimidate LGBT people.

"The recent past has been very demanding, distressing, and frightening for the LGBTQ community," the organizers said in a statement.

"Instead of protecting minorities" the statement said Orban’s government "is using laws to make members of the LGBTQ community outcasts in their own country."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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