Around 2,000 people from across the European Union attended the opening of the gay Euro Games in Budapest this week.
The annual tournament in the Hungarian capital will see LGBT athletes from 34 European countries take part, from 27 June to 1 July.
Support for the event has been led by Ulrike Lunacek and Kinga Goncz, both members of the LGBT intergroup, who attended the opening ceremony with other MEPs.
However, the mayor of Budapest failed to give his support to the event.
Lunacek, co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, said: ‘The atmosphere at the grand opening of the Eurogames in Budapest was very good.
‘Not only were there over 2,000 participants, but they came from countries where it may still be dangerous to live openly, including Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Bosnia and many others.’
‘This event is a huge success for the organizers, considering the city has denied them any support,’ she added. ‘I am confident that the games will contribute to more openness in Hungary.’
Lunacek also thanked EU ambassadors for expressing their support.
Kinga Goncz, member of the LGBT Intergroup and former Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister, praised the Euro Games for allowing LGBT athletes to compete with their friends in a friendly atmosphere.
‘They demonstrate that there is no place among them for exclusion, or for prejudice against those who are different,’ she said at the opening ceremony.
The annual Budapest Pride festival will follow the games on 7 July.