Poland’s first openly gay MP has revealed that a man launched a homophobic attack on the group he was with after Warsaw’s Equality parade, before turning on the MP himself.
Robert Biedron, who was elected to parliament in 2011, said the incident occurred after he had attended the Warsaw Equality Parade on Saturday.
Several thousand people took part in the march, which called for equal rights for all regardless of race, religion, or sexuality. The introduction of civil partnerships were part of the march’s agenda – a move blocked by Polish deputies earlier this year.
After the march had finished, Mr Biedron said he had retired to a cafe with a group of friends, where they were harassed by a man.
“An aggressive man insulted us, using homophobic statements,” Mr Biedron told Polsat News. “He began to choke one of my friends and punched him in the face.
“When he recognized me he spat in my face, raised his fists and and kicked me in the stomach.”
The assailant then fled, but was arrested shortly afterwards.
“This was an unpleasant incident, and it shows that there is perhaps no sense in burying one’s head in the sand,” Mr Biedron said.
However, he remained optimistic about progress in attitudes towards LGBT equality in Poland. He noted that there had been no stones or bottles thrown at the march this year, unlike previous events.
He warned that there was a tendency among politicians to glorify such attacks in the name of conservative values.
“You cannot call bandits patriots, a tendency that one often hears from the lips of politicians,” he said.
Mr Biedron is a member of the liberal Palikot Movement, a party which also includes Poland’s only transgender MP, Anna Grodzka.