That’s how it starts for every country so this is pleasing news- especially so when considering the influence of the catholic cult in shaping national identity in the face of decades of foreign occupation and influence. Small correction- Poland is not in Eastern Europe but is the geographical centre..
I can’t agree more. At the end of this month the gov’t is to read 3 propositions of registered partnerships bill, so we will see how it goes :)
Yes, we will see … I think, only the most modest proposition is more or less realistic.
All countries had to go through a way to legalise women’s vote. It took 150 years and still there are 2 countries without women voting (Saudi Arabia and Vatican).
Remember that in the UK, partnerships were (barely!) passed in 2004, and Denmark where gay CP were introduced in 1989, and gay marriage had to wait until 2012. I suppose there is a start for Poland as well. There is a debate in Poland about it. Compare it to Russia, the real eastern Europe. In Fact, Russia (European part) occupied 40% of all Europe, so there is not much room for other European regions (southern Europe, norther Europe, central Europe…). Please do not confuse Western Bloc and Eastern Bloc with geographical terms.
Politics change, gay rights change, but geography does not.
Public attitudes in Poland still have a long way to go, the two times I’ve been with my boyfriend who’s Polish we’ve been verbally abused 5 or 6 times in public. Ranging from someone bluntly asking if we’re faggots to a guy shouting in a crowded McDonalds that we should be sent to the gas chambers.
Good news indeed. The winds of change are blowing :-)
Its not ‘public opinion’ what matters in the case of same-sex marriage in Poland, but opinion of Catholic Church only. Its not law or judicial equality, what rules in Eastern Europe, but culture, traditions and prejudices as ‘public mind’ and small circle of elite as ‘real power’,- and in such country like Poland both political and religious elite are part of same establishment. By the way: I have read, that in Lithuania just 4% are in favor of same-sex civil partnerships (gay marriage is there so unrealistic, that it even is impossible as sociological issue of public debates). ‘Worse can be all ways’ – golden rule for gay rights across Eastern Europe.
Polish government doesn´t engage itself in this issure. Ministries are often the bigots allys. The Catholic Church spreads its anti-gay propaganda without any obstacles. People are afraid of defying the church and the right wing politicians. Many gay people are indolent. because of their Catholic roots. Hipocrisy is everywhere accepted. Youth is indoctrinated during religion lessons in the public schools. Poland is a really sad country for LGBT people.
I bet the 8% difference are people who’ve left Poland temporarily to work in Western Europe and seen that LGBT rights does not make the sky fall in like the Bishop says it will. As most of those people are younger than the average demographic for the country it’s a good sign that even there Vatican Inc, could find themselves one day irrelevant.
I suspect, that only experience, what all (or majority of) Eastern Europeans have made in the UK and in liberal part of Europe in general, is: how gay people are looking, which ‘ behavior characteristics’ of they are, etc. And then, after returning to home in clerical Eastern Europe, they can ‘recognise’ and discriminate own (closeted or not) gay people much more easy and raffinate. Nothing else.
Interesting article but please, please, please do not brand Poland as Eastern Europe. It used to be a part o the Eastern BLOC during the Cold War but it was and still is in central Europe as well as Central Europe (a community of states). Please remember that Europe finishes on Ural, so actually, Poland is geographically even in western Europe, since it lies west to the European midpoint in Lithuania. It hurts when my country is mislabelled.
Its not so very important, where exactly is one or another country geographicly. Only culture and democratic traditions are what matters for gay rights (and in this case Poland still is in Eastern Europe, not Western; Lithuania – in Ural). Difference between Vienna and Bratislava is 30 kilometers only, so what? Same-sex civil partnership in Austria have by-partisan support (Conservatives, Socialists, Greens, and even some members of small right wing party); in Slovakia a couple months ago an absolutely majority in parliament have vote against similar piece of law, proposed by Liberal opposition, including ruling Socialists.
Pavlos, I think you could focus your anger on a country you know. I would subscribe to what you think if I wouldn’t know about the following facts:
-Poland never punished homosexuality ever in its history, and was one of the first countries to in the world to legalise it (in 1932, after regaining independence) before the UK and Germany;
-its gov’t and HM confirmed that gay people are allowed to donate blood (unlike most of Europe, including gay marriage countries)
Poland doesn’t only have 2 openly gay MPs, but also world’s only transsexual person in MP office, chosen in conservative Kraków:
Read more about Poland:
I think Poland was always very tolerant but it just stopped there. Still, this month 3 (!) partnerships bills propositions will be read.
If anyone is small-minded and likes to simplistic things, it is definitely not gay people.
Editor, please refer to Poland as central European.
This link is even better, because it is more exhaustive written by a PhD in Slavic Studies:
this is still history only you need to understand the culture as well – basically people will rarely beat you because of being gay. Free speech, including being horrible is not exclusive to gays – the transformation was a painful process – there was a lot of pain so people find any reason to be horrible to others, not specifically to gay people – to a cashier in a shop, to a customer, to a person who didn’t say hello. Any reason is good. It is understandable, and will finally disappear – people who actually live in Poland, do understand it and just get used to it.
Hate speech? It will not be introduced in Poland, because the communism prohibited free speech, so now any censorship is seen through the communist past. In fact, in Poland there is now no censorship. Not a single book, nor film, nor play is banned…
i suspect, some members of current Polish ‘liberal’ government (like Justice minister Jaroslaw Gowin, an openly ‘Opus Dei’ member, or Foreign minister Jaroslaw Sikorski, an secret ‘Opus Dei’ member) are in favor of censorship on ‘ethical-religious grounds’ or whatever. And stories about ‘very old traditions of tolerance towards gay people’ in Poland, what was lost because of ‘bad’ Communism, sounds nice, but for naive tourists from West only, not for me. Why? Well, You can already understand this, I think?..
Pavlos, you really want to be right yes? I don’t know why you are so negative.
Anyway, Poland is a part of the West, so you could just say other Western countries.
Now – Poland’s PM is actually Radoslaw, not Jaroslaw, just to let you know.
He was accused of being an Opus Dei member by his opponents and he denied it on his website. I don’t know where you read that he is a member and open about it.
Anyway, I don’t think the traditions of tolerance were lost. Tolerance is everywhere in Poland. The problem is that it never went further to acceptance and further.
Are you a Daily Mail reader?
I suggest you to concentrate on the olden Dawn in Greece.
‘Polska – to Europa Centralnia, nawet Zachodnia’? No i co, Wlochy tez. Twoj optymyzm mnie bardzo piekny, ale my obie wiemy, ze rzecywystosc z prawami gejow na Polscie jest inna, z innymi ‘ustawami’. I polityka czy kultura tez, nawet jesli ustawa o partnerstwach bedzie przyjeta (w co ja nie wieze). ‘Bedziemy miac w Warszawie Budapeszt’. A kiedy i w Paryzu tez? Kto wie, czy demonstracja przecywko malzenstwu gejow 13 stycznia tez nie jest wlasnie takim znakiem?
Naprawdę mam na myśli to, co piszę. Wychowałem się w bardzo małej mazowieckiej wiosce i szczerze mówiąc, nie spotkałem się z żadną agresją fizyczną. Oczywiście agresja słowna istnieje, ale nie tylko w Polsce. Szczerze? W Wielkiej Brytanii, gdzie studiowałem, 3 razy musiałem zgłaszać homofobię – ktoś rzucił w mojego chłopaka butem, a nauczyciel niemieckiego (fakt, Niemiec) powiedział, żebym nie był “sissy”. Nie sądzę, żeby homofobia w Polsce znacznie odbiegala od reszty Europy. Ustawy wymuszają a przynajmniej torują odpowiednie postawy i są dobrym startem.
To prawda, ze są w Polsce homofobiczni ludzie, ale to samo, a nawet gorzej jest w wielu stanach USA, a także Francji, gdzie ludzie protestowali przeciwko malzenstwom, czy Szwajcarii, gdzie nie chcą prawie żadnych związków. Myślę, że nie można Polski traktować jako kraju Europy Wschodniej czy trzeciego świata, bo wtedy tracimy rachubę i zapominamy, że są przypadki palące, jak Uganda i Arabia Saudyjska, czy nawet Rosja.
‘Jego trzeba zastrelic’ (tak o mnie na dworcu uniwersitetu Wilenskiego). ‘Jaki to pedal chodzi’, ‘jakosz to dzywni’, ‘dziecko jescie’, ‘pobleda naturzy’, ‘dziewczyna’, ‘trzeba zakastrowac’. Wiecej nie przypominam sie.
Przykro mi z powodu Twoich zlych doswiadczen na Litiwe, ale proszé, nie zrównuj Litwinów, nawet I polskiego pochodzenia, z Polska I jej obywatelami. Homofobia jest wszedzie w Europie. Wczoraj widzialem ciekawy urywek z Francji: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-asqGwoVrm8
nie wspomné o eksmisji Romów…
Rzeczywistosc nie jest tak prosta, a geografia to niekoiecznie nauka o naszych prawach.
Nie pozwól twoim przykrym doswiadczeniom nienawidzic. Przez uprzedzenie I nienawisc stajesz sie taki sam jak homofobi.
Poza tym, wielu ludzi mówi rzeczy tylko po to by byc okropnymi, choc tak naprawdé ich nie majá na mysli, np. nastolatek mówi rodzicom, ze ich zabije, bo jest na nich zly. To oznaka niedojarzalosci.
Czasami nawet znajomi albo koledzy mówiá sobie nawzajem: jesli nie skonczysz tego projektu, to cie zastrzele!
To, ze zyjesz jest oznaka tego, ze nie mieli na mysli cie zabijac. W Polsce, mozesz pojsc do sądu i dostałbyś odszkodowanie:
Glowa do góry :) Pewnie prawo jest po Twojej stonie też na Litiwie.
Co wiécej, uwazam, ze uzywajac terminów, jak Europa Wschodnia, w tym przypadku demonizujemy kraje i je izolujemy. To nie pomaga walczyc z homofobia. Co wiecej, lekcewazymy ja, tam gdzie sie spodziewasz, ze jej nie ma.
Co wiecej, paradoksalnie, dyskryminujemy i stereotypizujemy (ludzi którzy sá gay friendly), czyli robimy to, co homofobi.
People should decide whether they want to live in countries with similar values to Uganda/Zimbabwe or with progressive values like Canada and Denmark.
Shouldn’t be too difficult a choice?
If only the world was so simple… you would be just right. Remember that Canada and Denmark ban gay blood. Most of anti-gay laws were introduced in Africa thanks to colonialism. Before that, many African cultures were actually accepting homosexuality.