Euro MPs support gay club protests

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Green Party Euro-MPs have warned of escalating state-sponsored homophobia in Poland after police in Warsaw blockaded ‘Le Madame’, a hugely popular gay club hosting political and cultural activities.

Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas today called on the Polish government to change their “old-fashioned” and “discriminatory policies” and order police to abandon the siege immediately.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP and a member of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, expressed her concern over the ongoing anti-gay policies permeating Poland: “Such behaviour from the Polish authorities is quite unbelievable in a modern Europe The ongoing violence that surrounds the discriminatory treatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in Poland is particularly worrying and simply unacceptable. It further proves that the LGBT communities and those using Le Madame are losing their freedom of speech.

“Denying people the right to express their sexual orientation violates basic human rights and breaches international and European law,” added Ms Lambert.

“We have recently made significant progress with many European countries legally recognising gay marriages, accepting everyone’s individual sexuality. The Polish authorities’ old-fashioned policies simply pull this backwards.

“With ‘Le Madame’ providing space for gays, feminists, anti globalisation activists and the Warsaw Green Party the attempt to shut the building seems to be a clumsy bid to eliminate all activities President Lech Kacynski and his party disagree with.

“It raises questions as to the circumstances the political opposition are allowed to operate and Poland’s commitment to the EU and the Council Of Europe’s policies.”

The attempt to shutdown the club on Monday has been met with widespread criticism. Those already inside the building refused to leave and have now been joined by more than 200 people. Together they staged an overnight sit in and have today invited celebrities, politicians, journalists and others into the club to draw attention to the siege and force the police to end their action in the face of overwhelming public criticism.

Caroline Lucas, South-East England’s Green Party MEP, added: “The human rights of Poland’s LGBT community must be respected and the increasingly homophobic Polish government must bring its policies and practices in line with the norms of international law and its EU partners.

“President Kaczynski, must call off the police, and compensate all groups caught up in this apparent act of political thuggery.”