It doesn’t happen every day that a political ambassadorial appointee of a Republican president voices public support for gay rights.
The U.S. ambassador to Hungary, April H. Foley, almost did that earlier this month, choosing her words very carefully not to appear overly supportive. She issued a statement “deploring” violence against the Gay Pride parade in Budapest on July 5.
“We deplore violence as a means of expression wherever it occurs in the world,” Ms. Foley said. “The United States is not free of prejudice and violence toward minorities. … We all strive to resolve differences of opinion peacefully.”
Even that generic statement apparently caught the attention of the Hungarians, most of whom are still opposed to gay rights, nearly two decades after the end of the Cold War.
As many as 10 people were injured and 45 arrested when a group described by wire reports as homophobic extremists clashed with police escorting the parade. They threw explosives, eggs, cobblestones and bottles at police and the 450 marchers. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the hostile crowd.
Hungary is a member of NATO and the European Union. A recent EU report said that a third of the organization’s member-states are still failing to ensure equal rights for gays and lesbians.
— Nicholas Kralev, diplomatic correspondent, The Washington Times