Gay protesters blast Polish leader

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Gay rights advocates gatecrashed a speech by Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski in Berlin today, accusing him of using gay people as scapegoats.

Protesters held placards and entered the auditorium at the city’s Humboldt University while preliminary speakers were addressing the audience.

Mr Kaczynski later spoke without interruption after one of the activists was allowed to address him. Holger Wicht, a journalist from a gay German publication said: “He shares responsibility for violence against gays and lesbians.”

“This person is an inciter. He is stirring up Catholicism, which leads to exclusion.”

Several protesters stood in the back while the president spoke and held placards. There were no clashes with police or the Polish leader’s entourage. The objections stem from when Mr Kaczynski refused parade permits for gay pride parades when he was mayor of Warsaw.

He was in Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Horst Koehler.