Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of Poland’s conservative ruling party, has launched a tirade of abuse towards the country’s LGBT+ community.
Speaking at a lecture on Wednesday (April 24), Kaczynski called the LGBT+ rights movement an attack on Polish values and conflated it with paedophilia.
“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children—the sexualization of children, that entire LBGT movement, gender,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
“This is imported, but they today actually threaten our identity, our nation, its continuation and therefore the Polish state.”
“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children.”
Kaczynski was speaking about Kler (The Clergy) , a 2018 film about the Roman Catholic Church in Poland which depicts fictional clerics as drunken child abusers.
He told the audience that “everyone must accept Christianity,” and said that to question the church is unpatriotic.
Kaczynski is the co-founder and leader of the conservative Law and Justice party, and served as prime minister from July 2006 to November 2007.
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He is considered the country’s de facto leader, and is said to direct both the prime minister and the president.
LGBT+ rights in Poland
Poland is a largely religious and socially conservative country. But in the lead-up to May’s European Parliament elections and a yet-to-be-called general election, LGBT+ rights have become a prominent issue.
In February, Warsaw’s Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski signed a 12-point LGBT+ declaration.
Within it were pledges to create a hostel for children who have been turfed out by their parents, and to introduce inclusive sex education in schools based on World Health Organisation guidelines.
It is the first document ever to officially recognise LGBT+ rights in Polish history.
Immediately after it was announced, Kaczynski called the declaration “a great danger.”
“This danger is an attack on the family, and an attack conducted in the worst possible way, because it’s essentially an attack on children,” he said on February 23.
The Roman Catholic Church in Poland, a body with huge political sway, expressed “deep concern” over the education plans.
“The declaration contradicts the constitutional right of parents to raise their children according to their own belief,” a bishops’ letter read.