Metro Weekly

Anti-gay Hungarian politician caught fleeing from police raid on gay sex orgy

Jozsef Szajer resigned from European Parliament after being caught at a "private party" with naked men at a Brussels gay bar

Hungarian Member of European Parliament Jozsef Szajer – Photo: Andy Mabbett, via Wikimedia

A senior Hungarian politician has resigned his post in the European Parliament after being caught fleeing a gay bar in Brussels that was raided by police for hosting a gay orgy, in violation of Belgium’s COVID-19 restrictions.

József Szájer, a close ally of Hungary’s anti-gay archconservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was reportedly detained by police after being seen fleeing the bar, which police had been called to after receiving noise complaints from neighbors.

Police said they found more than 20 people in the basement of the building, most of whom were naked men, including several diplomats.

A passerby reported seeing a man “fleeing along the gutter” to escape from the bar, and when police tracked down the man in question, they discovered he had bloody hands and narcotics stored in his backpack.

The man was unable to produce identity documents, so he was escorted to his residence, where he showed them a diplomatic passport to prove his identity.

The passport said the man, referred to as “S.J.” in a prosecutor’s report, was born in 1961. That information matches Szájer’s initials and year of birth, according to The New York Times.

Szájer, who is married to Tünde Handó, a justice serving on the Constitutional Court of Hungary, later confirmed that he had been present at a “private party,” but denied using drugs.

He also acknowledged it was a “misstep” to attend the event, calling his actions “irresponsible,” although he did not acknowledge the nature of the gathering.

“I apologize to my family, to my colleagues, to my voters,” he said. He also maintains that the drugs found in his backpack were planted.

As a member of the European Parliament, Szájer enjoys immunity from prosecution. At least two of the other party attendees invoked diplomatic immunity after the bar was raided by police.

But Szájer said he was ready and willing to pay the fine for violating Belgium’s COVID-19 restrictions on large-scale gatherings.

Szájer later resigned from his European Parliament post, citing stresses over political battles in the European Parliament. He is also reportedly no longer affiliated with Hungary’s ruling Fidesz Party, despite being a founding member, according to a statement from Orbán condemning his behavior, reports The Guardian.

“What our representative, József Szájer, did has no place in the values of our political family,” Orbán said in the statement. “We will not forget nor repudiate his 30 years of work, but his deed is unacceptable and indefensible.”

See also: European Union reveals plan to tackle rising anti-LGBTQ discrimination

A source closer to Szájer told The Guardian that while the politician never discussed his sexuality, it was considered an “open secret” among members of the party.

Opposition parties in Hungary have pounced on the incident, claiming it demonstrates hypocrisy on behalf of Fidesz politicians, who have tried to cast their party as “family-friendly” and dedicated to “traditional values.”

Besides its general political conservatism, Orbán’s government has become beest known for embracing legislation hostile to LGBTQ rights.

In 2011, Szájer boasted of personally rewriting Hungary’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. At the time, he dismissed critics who argued the constitution was not “a 21st-century constitution,” as he had previously claimed, because it did not guarantee LGBTQ rights.

“I don’t think that the traditional concept of marriage has changed just because we came into another millennium,” he said.

Under Orbán, the Hungarian government has also called for a boycott of Coca-Cola after it ran some ads picturing gay couples, and withdrew from the Eurovision song contest, allegedly because the contest was “too gay” and too permissive of non-traditional sexual and gender roles.

The Hungarian government has also introduced a new set of constitutional amendments seeking to restrict adoption to heterosexual couples, and legislation to revoke any recognition of transgender people by requiring them to be referred to by their assigned sex at birth.

Read more:

Gay people are having more sex during COVID, despite transmission risk

Anti-LGBTQ school board member ends career on bum note

Austin police officer suspended for 10 days after calling protester “gay”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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