Staunch Roman Catholic Polish President Lech Kaczynski says his views on issues like such as gay people are misunderstood.

Kaczynski, of the social conservative Law and Justice Party, made pledges upon taking office in December including making sure that Poland’s traditional Roman Catholic values were not overwhelmed by the general European liberal viewpoint.

Mr Kaczynski banned 2005’s gay pride celebrations in Warsaw after saying that homosexuals were “not a natural part of Poland’s culture,” and told gay people to repress their sexuality.

“I am aware that often, the things I say are not in line with the European correctness,” Kaczynski told The Associated Press in New York. “Even more, I am ascribed views that are not really mine.”

Kaczynski, a lawyer, has drawn EU criticism for privately stating he supports the death penalty in cases of heinous murders, although he acknowledged that no changes to this effect in polish law could override EU directives banning capital punishment.

Similarly, he has attracted controversy by speaking against same-sex marriage. He says property and inheritance issues for gay couples can be settled by lawyers.

“I do not support the turning back of the wheel of history,” Kaczynski said to The Associated Press in New York, stating he is for equal rights for women and is “not an enemy” of gay people. “I only think that we cannot say that there are two equal cultures,” he said. “If we said so, that would mean we are saying that our fate is extinction.”

“I have a certain fear here, but that does not mean that I intend to persecute anyone, that I intend to prevent him from living, from making a career, from working, from being a soldier.”