Munich’s mayor vows to celebrate the LGBT community by putting up rainbow-colored flags and having multiple places in its area lit up in rainbow lights in response to the Union of European Football Association (UEFA)’s decision to keep the Allianz Arena out from being a stage for a political demonstration.
Before the match between Germany and Hungary on June 23, Dieter Reiter, the Mayor of Munich, had applied to have the stadium where the match would play out be illuminated in rainbow colors to protest against Hungary’s new law, which is deemed the anti-gay law.
Stadium Allianz Arena belongs to Bayern Munich, and the UEFA had hired it for the EURO 2020 match. Proposing his desire to dorn the stadium with the set of colors, Reiter expected to send a message of support to the LGBTIQ community in Hungary, who are believed to be affected the most by the country’s new legislation.
But seeing that the move was closely linked to political disagreement between the nations, the UEFA had rejected Reiter’s suggestion.
“UEFA is a politically and religiously neutral organisation,” said European football’s governing body in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s match.
“Given the political context of this request—a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament—UEFA must refuse.”
Announcing his plan to adorn the other landmarks of the city with LGBT symbols, Reiter said “I find it shameful that UEFA forbids us to send a sign for cosmopolitanism, tolerance, respect and solidarity with the people of the LGBTIQ community.”
Reiter promised to decorate the Munich town hall with rainbow-colored flags while having a huge wind turbine near the stadium and the city’s 291m-tall Olympic tower illuminated by the signature LGBTIQ multi-color lights.
The legislation passed in Hungary last week is in fact a paedophilia law, but it was its amendments that drew heated controversy.
Abiding by the country’s Christian-based religion, the law decides to keep children from exposure to content that the government views as promoting gender segregation, gender reassignment, or homosexuality among children under 18.
“Hungary protects the right of children to self-identity according to their gender of birth and ensures education in accordance with the values based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture,” the Hungarian constitution comprises.
The law faced antagonism inside the country and from the international government, who saw that the law barred young people from essential sex education information. Until June 22, thirteen EU countries voiced against Hungary’s decision, including Germany.
Defending the legislation, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Foreign Affairs Minister, argued that the law’s framework purely aims to protect children from pedophiles and does not impose any restriction on adult LGBTIQ.
“The law protects the children in a way that it makes it an exclusive right of the parents to educate their kids regarding sexual orientation until the age of 18. So this law doesn’t say anything about sexual orientation of adults,” Szijjártó stated as reported by Euro News.
While there were voices of regret that the EURO match could not be used for voicing Munich’s stance for the LGBTIQ community, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto praised the UEFA’s attitude.
“The leadership of UEFA made the right decision by not assisting in a political provocation against Hungary,” said Szijjarto as reported by NDTV Sport.