Current Affairs

Gay groups to be banned from Polish schools

PinkNews Staff Writer May 17, 2007
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The minister for education in Poland has defied a European Parliament censure and plans to go ahead with new legislation banning the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.

The confirmation of plans to ban discussions on homosexuality in schools and educational institutions came from Poland’s education minister Roman Giertych, the leader of the League of Polish Families party.

Yesterday he said schools would be told to ban any activity, or group, that propagates, “homosexuality, pornography or other phenomena violating moral norms.”

“It is only to protect youth from the propagation of views that threaten marriage, threaten family, and threaten the duties of school, which are to prepare one to fulfil family duties and the duties of a citizen,” he said yesterday.

However, AP reports that Mr Giertych did not provide concrete information on what would be regarded as “propagation.”

“Every action that is dependent on the public presentation of a certain belief with the intention of convincing others to that viewpoint,” was the definition he gave to reporters.

Last month the European Parliament called for a fact-finding mission to Poland in light of the proposed homophobic measures in schools.

Mr Giertych recently caused outrage at a meeting of EU education ministers when he openly criticised so-called “homosexual propaganda” in schools and suggested a EU-wide ban.

Labour MEP and gay rights advocate Michael Cashman has compared the Polish proposals to Section 28 in Britain introduced by the Conservative administration of Margaret Thatcher.

Mr Cashman, one of only two out gay members of the European Parliament, has said that pressure from other countries can help gay and lesbians in Poland.

“The defence of human rights you can either choose or it chooses you,” he told EUobserver.

“I went into politics because in 1987 the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher attempted do exactly what Giertych and his mates are attempting now.”

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