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Gays in Poland and Polish Gays in the UK

An article about gays in Poland and Polish gays in Britain.

Poles Apart - It's not easy to be gay in Poland

Despite the changes in the political system in the 1980's and Poland's entry into the European Union, LGBT people in Poland still experience discrimination.

On face value it seems to be fairly progressive for a former Eastern Block country, homosexual acts have been legal in Poland since 1932. Gays are allowed to serve in the military, single gay people may adopt and the country bans some anti-gay discrimination.

However Poland has received international attention in recent years following official bans, and attacks by right wing politic groups, against public LGBT events. Politicians and the Catholic Church have been vocal against LGBT people and their rights.

Civil partnerships are not recognised and Polish gay rights groups claim that thousands of Polish gays have emigrated. Indeed most of the Polish gays who have emigrated to the UK did not do so for purely economic reasons but because of being persecuted in Poland.

In recent years I have had the great pleasure to meet many gay people who have come to places like Manchester to escape the barriers to acceptance in everyday life which has taught me that we should never take our rights for granted and that we should help support other LGBT people to fight for the freedoms that we enjoy in the UK.

Many Polish people are deeply attached to their faith and the Catholic Church's opposition to homosexuality sometimes reinforces homophobic attitudes. With 95% of the population officially Roman Catholic it is quite clear to see that the Catholic Church and The State are intrinsically linked. Many people think it will be years before full progress will be made.

Poland's governing centre-Right party enjoyed an easy victory in the recent European elections
The country's mainstream politicians, such as President Lech Kaczynski, and Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, from the centre-right Law and Justice Party, have pledged to act against discrimination against gays. But in an interview after his appointment last September, Mr Marcinkiewicz called homosexuality "unnatural".

British and Polish opposition parties have gathered enough support to create a new Euro sceptic grouping in the European Parliament that aims to fight further EU integration, Poland's opposition leader has said.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of Poland's main opposition Law and Justice Party (PiS) recently discussed the plans in Warsaw with British Conservative leader David Cameron who has come under fire for joining up with populist parties such as PiS, which has spoken out against homosexuality.

Nine out of ten Polish people homophobic?

An opinion poll conducted in late 2006 at the request of the European Commission indicated Polish public opinion was generally opposed to same-sex marriage and to adoption by gay couples.

The Euro barometer 66 poll found that 74% and 89% of Poles respectively were opposed to same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples. Of the EU member states surveyed, only Latvia and Greece had higher levels of opposition.

In the last week the British ambassador to Poland has been accused by Catholic groups of "representing the 'homosexual lobby'" and told by the country's civil rights ombudsman he was "exceeding his authority" by promoting the gay Pride march which took place in Warsaw recently. ......

The rest of the article:

http://www.lgf.org.uk/news/1182/590/Poles-Apart---It-s-not-easy-to-be-gay-in-Poland/

Re: Gays in Poland and Polish Gays in the UK

Must have been an old article - Marcinkiewicz was PM ages ago and is currently famously shacked up with a young Polish blonde in London AND frequents gay bars with her!!
Law and Justice is a centre-left, pro-Catholic party and strong Little Polander tendencies.