Governmental youth policy organization bans LGBTQ group from its premises

November 29, 2017

Governmental youth policy organization bans LGBTQ group from its premises
An Új Nemzedék employee puts up a “Safe space” sticker on the Szeged community space’s door in April 2017 | Photo: Szegedi LMBT Közösségért

The government’s youth policy organization Új Nemzedék Nonprofit has banned an LGBTQ organization from its premises, reports index.hu.

According to the Szegedi LMBT Közösségért Csoport (Group For the Szeged LGBT Community), the organization was banned from the Szeged Új Nemzedék (New Generation) community space because it is subject to the same treatment as political parties since it “conducts politics” by trying to have a say in public affairs that affect the lives of LGBTQ people. The organization alleges that the decision was made not locally but by the leadership of the Új Nemzedék Center.

The Szeged-base LGBTQ advocacy group’s alleged political activity includes joining the Civilizáció movement, the umbrella organization which unites NGOs opposing the government’s highly controversial NGO law, attending the Budapest Pride March and organizing a demonstration in 2016 against the Ásotthalom council ordinance that discriminates against LGBTQ people.

Szegedi LMBT Közösségért Csoport has been organizing various community events at the Szeged Új Nemzedék community space since April 2017 including teahouses, a film club and board game evenings. The group deliberately chose the community space as the venue for their events as the governmental organization had conducted numerous equal opportunities and pro-tolerance programs in the past and usually has a more progressive approach than the government.

In April, when the Szegedi LMBT Közösségért Csoport started to organize events at the community space, employees of Új Nemzedék put out a rainbow-colored “Safe space” sticker on the door of the office. The sticker has since been removed.

As the Új Nemzedék Centre’s decision is informal, the official motivation behind banning the LGBTQ group from its premises is still unknown. Members of the Szegedi LMBT Közösségért Csoport hope that a misunderstanding is in the background of the decision as no complaint has been filed regarding their activity so far.

Új Nemzedék Nonprofit, responsible for implementing the government’s 2012 youth policy program, has been known mostly for acquiring billions of forints in state funds for invisible programs and refusing to cooperate with the State Audit Office.