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Polish group associated with ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers to host concert at Carnegie Hall

Lily Wakefield August 24, 2019
LGBT-free Zone stickers are distributed with the latest issue of Polish conservative weekly newspaper 'Gazeta Polska'. Krakow, Poland on 24 July, 2019.

LGBT-free Zone stickers distributed with Polish conservative weekly magazine Gazeta Polska. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty)

The world-famous venue Carnegie Hall, New York, has listed a concert presented by a group associated with the Polish publication which produced “LGBT-free zone” stickers.

The concert, titled “From Chopin to Gershwin,” is due to take place on October 24  and the only information provided is that it is “presented by the Gazeta Polska Community of America.”

The Gazeta Polska Community of America said on its Facebook page that its clubs in the US are “supported by… Gazeta Polska media and its editorial board,” but that it is “independent and separated from” the magazine.

It continued: “The Clubs represent a broad social movement which inherits the freedom and patriotism oriented legacy of Gazeta Polska.”

Gay concert pianist Paul Bisaccia told NBC News that he was asked to take part in the “star-studded event,” but when he realised the concert was associated with the anti-LGBT publication he said he had to turn it down.

He said: “It is not a small thing to turn down a concert at Carnegie Hall, no one does that.”

“To walk out on that stage is a great honor, to be asked to do it is a great honor, and to find out that the sponsor is someone who would besmirch this honor is very depressing and saddening to me.”

Group associated with LGBT-free zone stickers hosts concert at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall in New York City. (Peter Kramer/Getty)

A member of anti-racism group Never Again said the Gazeta Polska editor was involved in organising the group

Carnegie Hall spokesperson Synneve Carlino also told NBC News that the show was “an event presented by an outside producer renting Carnegie Hall.”

Carlino said that Carnegie Hall “strongly rejects this sticker campaign and does not condone discrimination or intolerance against any group.”

Gazeta Polska said it would distribute “LGBT-free zone” stickers to readers with its July 24 edition, but earlier this month the Warsaw District Court ordered the magazine to cease distributing the controversial stickers.

A spokesperson for The Gazeta Polska Community of America told NBC News the organisation “does not support, take part or promote” the stickers.

However, a member of a Polish anti-racism group Never Again said that the organisation is “a political movement built around the newspaper… It shares the political perspectives of the newspaper and [Gazeta Polska editor] Mr. Sakiewicz is very active in organizing it and leading it.”

 

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