LGBT activists will be demonstrating outside the Polish embassy in London on Thursday as one of many protests worldwide for International Day Against Homophobia.
The event, organised by the British Youth Council (BYC) with the support of Outrage! will be part of events in over 50 countries to show a united international stand against gay hate.
Poland is being targeted because of attitudes within the country and also because of new legislation the government there is trying to bring in which is likely to encourage homophobia in schools.
“We condemn rising homophobia in Poland and the increased persecution of Poland’s lesbian and gay citizens,” said David Allison of OutRage!.
“Poland’s new Education Bill includes a Section 28-style clause that will outlaw any objective, factual or sympathetic mention of homosexuality in schools. It is feared that gay teachers may be sacked.”
Earlier this year Polish junior education minister, Miroslaw Orzechowski, told a recent press conference that the new law will: “punish whoever promotes homosexuality or any other deviance of a sexual nature in educational establishments.”
Last month members of European Parliament called on the Polish government to abandon the homophobic clause in the new Education Bill, which outlaws the so-called “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.
“Polish government ministers refused point blank to accept or debate these criticisms,” said gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, who will join Thursday’s protest.
Derek Lennard, IDAHO UK Coordinator added:
“It is extremely important to stand up for the human rights of victimised people in a neighbouring European country. We have to ensure that the Polish lesbian and gay community is not discriminated against by its government.”
“We urge everyone who feels strongly about Polish homophobia to join us on 17 May,” he said.
The protest is to take place between 12noon and 2pm outside the Polish Embassy, 47 Portland Place, London W1B 1JH (nearest tube Oxford Circus).