Poland could vote in its first openly gay president during next election

Robert Biedron

Poland’s existence under an anti-LGBT+ administration could be drawing to a close as an openly gay presidential candidate offers up a fervent fight for leadership.

Current polls indicate that one in four Poles intend to vote for the left-wing candidate Robert Biedroń, who entered his political career as an LGBT+ activist.

Biedroń, who is the mayor of Slupsk, a town with a population of 98,757 in northern Poland, is considered a strong contender to current President Andrzej Duda.

A member of centre-left Party Your Movement, 11.4 percent of Poland said they would be willing to vote for Biedroń, according to a new poll.

Although the election is not set to take place until 2020, it means that the politician has a generous amount of time on his side to win nationwide support.

“I am just a boy from Krosno, who is often swimming against the tide, a leader who can lead a dialogue and unite people. The son, brother, colleague, and finally Krzysztof’s partner,” Biedroń said on his website.

Robert Biedron takes the oath next to the first transsexual Polish deputy, Anna Grodzka, on November 8, 2011 (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty)

“I am a man who respects nature, looks sympathetically at the destiny of animals. I am a politician who loves Poland, who is focused on the sustainable development of a modern honest state that provides equal opportunities for all, supporting education and culture, ensuring security and development. But, first of all, I will always be myself, Robert Biedroń,” Biedroń wrote.

Competing against incumbent President Duda, who secured 33.5 percent of the vote in the poll, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who received 33 percent approval, Biedroń still has a battle on his hands, according to 112 International.

But the move towards electing a gay atheist is a dramatic turn in the country.

At present, the right-wing Law and Justice party, led by President Duda, has a staunch anti-LGBT voting record.

The politician blocked same-sex marriage legislation in 2017, stating that marriage between a man and a woman was “clearly and expressly regulated in the Constitution.”

He also vetoed the Gender Accordance Act, which would allow trans people to legally change their gender.

Robert Biedron is pictured on the occasion of his investiture as Mayor of Slupsk, northern Poland on December 6, 2014. (PIOTR WITTMAN/AFP/Getty)

In Poland, approximately 91 percent of the population identify as Roman Catholic, according to the Eurobarometer 393 poll in 2012.

Although it is legal to be gay in Poland, public opinion as a whole is not in favour of LGBT+ rights.

According to pollsters Equaldex, 46 percent of the country surveyed said that society should not accept homosexuality.