Polish activists create election list of homophobic politicians

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LGBT activists in Poland are compiling a list of politicians who have been hostile to gay rights ahead of a general election later this year.

The website gaylife.pl is putting together the list, which includes MPs from all sides of the political spectrum.

“There’s a parliamentary election coming. We want to enable the gay community to make a conscious choice and this is the reason for creating a list with the names of the people who have hindered us from achieving our goals,” Marek Ryszard, of gaylife.pl told thenews.pl website.

The current Prime Minister and President of Poland, twin brothers Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski, have outraged opinion in the EU with their defiantly homophobic statements.

Their Law and Justice (PiS) party was until recently in coalition with the right-wing League of Polish Families and others.

On 13th August President Kaczynski signalled the formal end of the coalition by firing four ministers from two junior parties and replacing them with ruling party loyalists.

“The work of the coalition has come to an end,” Kaczynski said in a statement.

PiS currently have only 150 seats in the parliament’s lower house out of a total of 460.

Parliament will vote on September 7th on whether or not to dissolve itself and hold new elections, which will follow within 45 days. The government and opposition are in favour of a dissolution.

According to the latest opinion poll conducted among voters, the largest opposition party Civic Platform (PO) is likely to win the election, but without an overall majority.

Therefore Poland could end up being ruled by another coalition or a minority government.

Aleksander Kwasniewski of the centre-left alliance LiD told Reuters that the Kaczynski brothers have been bad for Poland.

“First, there was disbelief that Poland could end up with such a nationalistic government, then people thought they just could not understand Poland, now this has reached a laughable stage,” he said.

Under the Kaczynski brothers Poland has become one of the most openly homophobic countries in Europe.

In March this year, at a Polish Ministry of Education press conference junior minister Miroslaw Orzechowski proposed new laws to, “punish whomever promotes homosexuality or any other deviance of a sexual nature in educational establishments.”

He also said that teachers who reveal themselves to be gay, lesbian or bisexual would be sacked.

On a state visit to Ireland at the beginning of this year President Lech Kaczynski said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race.

His comments were particularly ironic given the persistent rumours about the sexuality of his brother the Prime Minister.

As the then Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczynski banned the city’s gay pride parade in 2004. He refused to meet with the parade organisers, saying, “I am not willing to meet perverts.”

He also banned the event in 2005 while allowing a homophobic counter-demonstration, the “Parade of Normality.”

In August 2006, when quizzed by the EU over his gay rights record, Prime Minister Kaczynski said he was not a homophobe.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting in Brussels with EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Jaroslaw Kaczynski said: “Please do not believe in the myth of anti-Semitic, homophobic and xenophobic Poland this is a media thing – it is not real.”

As a condition of entry into the EU, accession states such as Poland had to pass a range of legislation protecting LGBT rights.

The statements of both Kaczynskis put Poland on a collision course with the Western states of the EU, most of whom are granting even greater rights to LGBT people.

As well as enraging EU colleagues with their anti-gay stance, the brothers indicated they believe in a reintroduction of the death penalty.

The twins first came to prominence in Poland as child actors in the 1962 film Two Who Stole The Moon.

In October 2006 Polish newspaper Rzeczpolita published secret service documents from 1992 in which Colonel Jan Lesiak is reported to have said:

“It is advisable to establish if Jaroslaw Kaczynski remains in a long-term homosexual relationship and, if so, who his partner is.”