Persecution of gay people in ‘new’ Poland

Homophobic demonstrator in Poland

From British daily The Independent:

Poles apart: how gay people suffer under the new regime

By Jerome Taylor in Warsaw

Published: 01 December 2006

Twenty-five years ago, two identical twins, once childhood stars in Poland during the Sixties, were on the run from the Communist regime’s secret police.

Today, they are the President and Prime Minister of their country, and fiercely proud of Poland’s feisty role in Europe and its close friendship with the United States.

One of the brothers, President Lech Kaczynski, flew to Britain this month to meet the Queen and Tony Blair, part of an official visit during which the two countries celebrated their close alliance, built on a mild mutual Euroscepticism and a firm belief in pursuing the “war on terror“.

Lech’s brother, Jaroslaw, remained in Warsaw running the country as Prime Minister.

But the journey they have made from being on the run to running the country has come at an unacceptably high price for many Poles.

The country’s gay community today feels the cold blast of exclusion, just as the twins did 25 years ago.

Homosexuals in Poland are under siege, as right-wing youth groups carrying banners proclaiming “zakaz pedalowania” (“ban paedophilia”) hurl stones at gay pride marches, and mainstream politicians mutter dark threats of sacking homosexual teachers to “protect the nation’s children”.

For young gay Poles like Dominik Piotrovski, a student from Warsaw, homophobic attacks are on the rise, especially against those gay men and women brave enough to be publicly open about their sexuality.

Members of government party League of Polish Families LPR shout ‘Sieg Heil’ at swastika.

Update: here.

And here.

Secret CIA gulag in Poland: here.

Gay bashing in Britain: here.

Homophobia in Australia: here.

Homophobes attack gay pride march in Hungary: here.

Gay pride ban in Moscow: here.

8 thoughts on “Persecution of gay people in ‘new’ Poland

  1. Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 11:29:17 -0700
    From: Bigraccoon
    Subject: Televangelist Breached Broadcast Guidelines: Ruling

    Televangelist Breached Broadcast Guidelines: Ruling

    14 Jun 2005
    CBC Arts

    When [US] televangelist Jimmy Swaggart said he would kill a homosexual who looked at him romantically, he violated the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ ethics code, an industry panel has ruled.

    Swaggart made the remarks during a discussion of same-sex marriage on a Sept. 12 broadcast that was carried by the Toronto station Omni 1.

    “I’m going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I’m going to kill him and tell God he died,” Swaggart said.

    Swaggart also said that politicians who are undecided on the issue of same-sex marriage “all oughta have to marry a pig and live with him forever.”

    The comments prompted a complaint that was filed with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, the arm of the CAB that deals with viewer feedback.

    A few days later, Swaggart backtracked, saying the expression was a figurative one. He said he has used the expression “killing someone and telling God he died” in jest thousands of times.

    “If it’s an insult, I certainly didn’t think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology,” he told the Associated Press.

    The council ruled that Omni 1 was entitled to broadcast Swaggart’s views opposing same-sex marriage, as well as his criticism of politicians who take no stand.

    But it added that the station breached the CAB’s human rights and religious programming clauses “on the basis of Swaggart’s suggestion that killing someone would be the proper way for one to respond to homosexuality.”

    The panel said the debate over same-sex marriage is “more than legitimate” and “democratically essential” but said Swaggart’s “negativity” was “visceral.”

    “The problem of Swaggart’s language is, in a sense, exacerbated by the fact that he, as a religious figure, can be presumed to set an example for his community. It would, therefore, be easy for someone to infer that this might be the proper way for a Christian of this sect (or possibly of any sect) to respond to homosexuality,” the ruling added.

    Omni 1 issued an on-air apology shortly after the broadcast, so it is not required to broadcast the council’s decision.

    Both the CAB and CBSC are non-governmental organizations.


  2. Rice Pressed On Fired Gay Linguists
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” redwoodsaurus
    Thu Feb 8, 2007 7:14 pm (PST)
    Rice Pressed On Fired Gay Linguists

    February 7, 2007

    Condoleezza Rice got a grilling Wednesday when she
    bemoaned “the foreign language deficit that we have” and
    how much the government needs Farsi and Arabic speakers
    during an appearance on Capitol Hill.

    Rice was appearing before the House Foreign Affairs
    Committee justifying the State Department’s proposed
    budget increases.

    After she complained several times that the department was
    facing a problem finding translators an exasperated
    Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) asked why the department had
    not hired any of the translators fired by the Pentagon
    because they are gay and lesbian.

    Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” more than two dozen Arabic
    translators have been dropped since the war in Iraq began.

    “It seems that the Defense Department has a ‘Don’t Ask,
    Don’t Tell’ when it comes to homosexuals. You don’t have
    such a prohibition in your agency, do you?” Ackerman asked

    “No, we do not,” Rice replied.

    “Well, it seems that the military has gone around and fired a
    whole bunch of people who speak foreign languages ~ Farsi
    and Arabic, etc.,” Ackerman told her.

    The Congressman said that they had already been trained at
    government expense and had passed security tests.

    “For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay
    people than they are against terrorists, but they’re very
    brave with the terrorists,” Ackerman said, “If the terrorists
    ever got a hold of this information, they’d get a platoon of
    lesbians to chase us out of Baghdad.”

    The remark drew some smiles from fellow members of the
    panel, but Rice was stone faced.

    He then asked directly why the State Department had not
    looked at the fired gay linguists.

    “Can we marry up those two ~ or maybe that’s the wrong
    word ~ can we have some kind of union of those two
    issues?” Ackerman asked.

    “Congressman Ackerman, I’m not aware of the availability of
    people, but I certainly will look [at] what we are doing right
    now,” Rice replied, adding that the department had
    increased staff in many critical areas but needs additional
    people at higher levels.

    “But maybe you might find some of those competent people
    among those who are recently unemployed.”

    “We’ll look at it,” is all Ackerman could get Rice to commit to.

    “Secretary Rice would have no trouble finding gay linguists,”
    said Sharon Alexander, deputy director of policy for
    Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

    “In fact, our government could go a long way in addressing
    the shortage of language expertise by doing just as
    Congressman Ackerman suggests. SLDN would be happy to
    introduce Secretary Rice to our many clients who speak
    Arabic but have been dismissed because of the ban,” said

    Since the ban on gays serving openly was implemented a
    decade ago more than 11,000 men and women have been
    dismissed under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” according to the
    Government Accountability Office.

    Last month Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) said that he will
    reintroduce legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” early
    in this session of Congress and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)
    has told Defense Secretary Robert Gates he wants an
    answer on the new secretary’s position on DADT by
    March 16.


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