Joseph Szájer. Have you heard his name? He is a Hungarian politician and former Member of the European Parliament of the Fidesz party.
He unexpectedly resigned from his MEP mandate on 29th of November 2020. Why? Because he has been caught by Belgian police on the night of 27th of November attending a private 25-man sex party above a bar, in violation of local COVID-19 regulations, and ecstasy pills were found in his bag. Still, he claims he doesn’t know how the drug got there.
He was unable to identify himself on the spot, so police escorted him to his home, where he showed them his diplomatic passport. Drug abuse and violations of epidemiological rules have been prosecuted.
This story that it is not only of interest to the Hungarian public and the press – it went viral overnight. According to the reports, his hands were dirty and bloody as he was fleeing via a window. Funny meme creators acted fast, and Szájer appeared as Spider-Man or even as naked Santa Claus sliding down a rain gutter.
While serving as MEP, in 2010 Szájer was appointed to chair the drafting committee of the new Constitution of Hungary and led the national consultative committee. The draft was written by Szájer. The committee put forward several notable changes to the constitution, including banning abortion. The new constitution also emphasised the definition of marriage as being between man and woman, in an apparent repudiation of calls for the recognition of same-sex marriage. In November 2020, the Fidesz government proposed a Constitutional amendment which would ban adoption by same-sex couples. Language in the amendment would ensure “education in accordance with the values based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture”.
The Hungarian government has passed legislation that restricts the civil rights of LGBTQ Hungarians – such as ending legal recognition of transgender Hungarians – and this trend continues under the Fidesz government. The sex scandal of Joseph Szájer became the symbol of the hypocrisy and double morality of a state.
David Manzheley, a 29-year-old student and gay party organiser of the Brussels orgy, has become a media star overnight. He horned the press of at least three countries full of details of his house party. The case is becoming increasingly difficult to follow. Manzheley previously said he did not know Joseph Szájer, has now spoken about the fact that he is not the only Fidesz member involved. He stated that four Polish and nine Fidesz politicians went to his orgies.
After that Manzheley made this decision of retiring because he claimed to have received a death threat from a politician he had previously hosted at his events. He also said that despite the death threats, he must respect these politicians. They are all family members and still keep their sexual identities secret.
According to a call on their website, Budapest Pride offers the ruling party to help to build a non-judgmental and secure environment for LGBTQ members to come forward safely and live freely, without lies, in their political work. They hope Hungary will effectively protect equal human dignity and freedom, where no one has to be afraid because they were not born heterosexual.
Budapest Pride works to make it better for all LGBTQ people to live in Hungary, including those who are members and sympathisers of Fidesz. As they write on their website, there are unfortunately many Hungarian and international examples of the impact on people of living and lying for decades – it is not uncommon for them to become the loudest homophobic.
At Budapest Pride, they believe that Hungary can be an accepting country where no one has to hide and be ashamed because they are not heterosexual. That is why they are offering their help to Fidesz. They hope the ruling party will take advantage of this historic moment to face its own mistakes, its exclusionary attitude, and embark on a path of change.