Police forced to intervene in Polish gay rights march

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Riot police have been forced to intervene in a march for gay tolerance held in the Polish city of Krakow after counter demonstrations from members of far-right youth groups.

Police officers reported that several arrests have taken place after members of the rightwing All Poland Youth Group threw stones and eggs at the participants of march for tolerance.

Over a thousand marchers protested with placards urging the public to “Stop homophobia” and “Don’t confuse a gay with a paedophile.”

Those from the All Poland Youth Group held up banners saying, “”Stop deviation”. Some chanted, “Lesbians and gays, all of Poland is laughing at you”.

Gay rights campaigners argue that since the ultra-Conservative Law and Justice Party came to power last September that the rights of gay people have been eroded. Prime Minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz recently claimed that homosexuality is unnatural.

Last May, Mr Kaczynski, as mayor of the Polish capital, refused to issue a permit for a Gay Pride parade. A short while later he issued a permit for a “normality parade,” which was denounced by the International Lesbian and Gay Association as a “demonstration whose main objective was an incitation to hate and intolerance toward LGBT people.”

In an open letter to EU leaders in June, ILGA noted that violence against LGBT people in Poland increased after the “normality parade.” In addition, a coalition of LGBT groups issued a statement calling on the president and prime minister to speak against anti-gay hatred.

“People who hold high political positions in the Polish government cannot pretend that there is no problem with hatred towards homosexuals in Poland,” the groups said.