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New Polish PM pressed on civil unions

Maryam Omidi November 12, 2007
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Gay rights activists in Poland have asked incoming Prime Minister Donald Tusk to discuss legalisation of civil unions, the introduction of comprehensive sexual education in schools and the ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Mr Tusk is head of the centre-right Christian-democratic Civic Platform Party (PO), which won the recent election on 21st October.

According to Catholic World News PO member Stefan Niesiolowski said: “I will not agree to homosexual marriage.”

MP Janusz Palikot, who at a recent news conference wore a T-shirt with the words “I am gay” emblazoned on the front, took a different stance.

Mr Palikot has said that although it is unlikely for Poland, a conservative country, to consent to same-sex marriages, “there will be tolerance and acceptance of minorities.”

Robert Biedron, president of Campaign Against Homophobia offered his opinion on the old-fashioned Catholic values that still exist in Poland today.

He said: “In Polish textbooks, one may read that homosexuality is a deviation.

“That opinion hails from the Middle Ages and should be fought.”

While many predicted that the new Prime Minister would usher in an era of reform, others remain cautious but hopeful.

Although the PO is looking to repair ties with the European Union, it takes a similarly conservative position to the former ruling party, the right-wing Law and Justice, on many issues such as abortion and gay rights.

Former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski of the Law and Justice party and his twin brother, Lech Kaczynski, the current President, caused controversy within the LGBT community for their anti-gay stance.

The pair banned several gay pride marches in the country and on a state visit to Ireland at the beginning of this year Lech Kaczynski said that the promotion of homosexuality would lead to the eventual destruction of the human race.

The first test for the new government will be November 17th when the March of Equality in Poznan is planned.

In 2005 the police in Poznan detained and interrogated 65 demonstrators during the March of Equality organised by leftist and gay activists.

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