Poland minister calls LGBT+ march a ‘parade of sodomites’
Poland’s Defence Minister has called a Pride march in the country a “parade of sodomites.”
Mariusz Blaszczak, a prominent figure in the country’s right-wing populist Government, condemned the rally in Poznan, which saw 5,000 people march for equality in the western city.
The remarks come after the Minister for Internal Affairs Joachim Brudziński told the police to prosecute LGBT+ people, accusing them of “desecrating” the Polish coat of arms by featuring it on a Pride flag during a march in July.
Speaking on TV Trwam, a Catholic, pro-Government station, the Defence Minister said the Pride parade showed that Poznan’s officials focus on “ideology” instead of everyday issues like “sidewalks and sewers.”
He dismissed the rally as “another parade of sodomites who are trying to impose their own interpretation of civic rights on other people,” according to Associated Press.
The Poznan tram company MPK Poznan placed rainbow flags on all its vehicles ahead of the parade, only to remove them when they were met with criticism.
Blaszczak welcomed the company’s decision to back down, saying that if people show “something that is not normal, then it is met with resistance,” Polish outlet Wiadomosci has reported.
The Defence Minister’s comments seem intended to disparage Poznan’s local officials – who are opposed to the ruling Law and Justice party – ahead of local elections in October.
MP Michal Szczerba, whose Civic Platform party was voted out of government in 2015, called Blaszczak’s remarks “hateful, humiliating and discriminating against gay people.”
The winner of Mr Gay Europe was crowned last week in Poznan, despite hundreds of protesters turning out to make their views on LGBT+ people heard.
Enrique Doleschy, a 30-year-old German contestant, beat six other finalists to win the crown in the twelfth annual edition of the competition.
“As long as there’s one person feeling like this, we need competitions like this to bring out the best in people and to force them, to drive them, to be better for each other,” Doleschy said.
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This year’s contest also marked the first year that a trans person entered the competition, with Niels Jansen from Denmark chosen as the first runner-up.
Earlier this year, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that no person has the right to deny service to the LGBT+ community.
The case was taken by Poland’s Campaign Against Homophobia after a local print shop refused service to an LGBT+ organisation.
The police forwarded the case to the District Court, who found the employee guilty and fined him 200 PLN (£40).
In June, an estimated 45,000 people marched in Warsaw in an annual “equality parade” to protest discrimination against LGBT+ people, women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
Same-sex marriage is still illegal in Poland, despite shifting public support, and the constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples.