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Homophobic thugs take to the streets in Warsaw, Poland, to burn flame-resistant rainbow flags and demand a ban on Prides

Nick Duffy August 17, 2020
Far-right protesters attempt to burn a rainbow flag as they protest against the LGBT community on August 16, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland.

Far-right protesters attempt to burn a rainbow flag as they protest against the LGBT community on August 16, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. (Omar Marques/Getty)

Hundreds of anti-LGBT+ nationalists took to the streets of Warsaw on Sunday, as homophobic sentiment reaches new heights in Poland.

Participants at the central Warsaw rally attempted to burn flame-resistant rainbow flags and demanded a ban on Pride parades, as the homophobic moral panic in the country reaches fever pitch.

An activist attempts to burn a rainbow flag in front of the Warsaw University
An activist attempts to burn a rainbow flag in front of the Warsaw University (Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP)

Addressing the crowd, far-right MP Krzysztof Bosak vowed to reject LGBT+ ideology, insisting: “Expressing open opposition to the cultural revolution that the extreme left wants to carry out is our moral duty and the only means to stop it.”

He added: “We must be active, we must stop this revolution… let us not allow this minority to impose political correctness.”

The group succeeded in singing the edges of a rainbow flag
The group succeeded in singing the edges of a rainbow flag (WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Bosak was the far-right Confederation’s candidate in the presidential election earlier this year, sweeping up 6.78 per cent of the vote in the first round.

LGBT+ campaigners vow to resist hatred.

A second protest in favour of LGBT+ rights was held directly opposite the rally, with police separating the two groups as they both chanted slogans.

An LGBT activist wears a rainbow flag during a counter protest against an anti-LGBT far right rally on August 16, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland.
An LGBT activist wears a rainbow flag during a counter protest against an anti-LGBT far right rally on August 16, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)

The pro-LGBT+ group chalked a giant rainbow down the street in front of Warsaw University ahead of the two protests.

The Campaign Against Homophobia wrote: “Where they plan to shout slogans of hate, a symbol of the fight for freedom, equality, love and democracy is waiting!”

Police stand guard after the street is painted in rainbow colours
Police stand guard after the street is painted in rainbow colours (WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Homophobes have taken to the streets repeatedly over the past few months, most recently cutting up rainbow flags and chanting homophobic slogans during a march to mark the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising during World War Two.

Politicians have repeatedly stoked anti-LGBT+ hatred in Poland.

Politicians in the country have been accused of fostering a homophobic ‘moral panic’ for their own ends.

LGBT+ people are a popular punching bag for the country’s conservative government, with right-wing president Andrzej Duda narrowly winning re-election last month after making homophobia one of the core planks of his campaign.

In a “family charter” published ahead of the election, Duda pledged to “prohibit the propagation of this ideology” in public institutions and “defend the institution of marriage” as defined as a “relationship between a women and a man”.

With days to go until the run-off vote, Duda also proposed an amendment to Poland’s constitution that would ban same-sex couples from adopting children. He said: “I am convinced that, thanks to this, children’s safety and concern for the good of children will be ensured to a much greater extent.”

As part of the politically-driven attack on LGBT+ people, nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have proclaimed themselves zones “free from LGBT+ ideology” and opposing gay “propaganda” – covering nearly a third of the country.

The European Parliament passed a resolution that strongly condemned the concept of LGBT-free zones in December, noting that they are “part of a broader context of attacks against the LGBT+ community in Poland, which include growing hate speech by public and elected officials and public media, as well as attacks and bans on Pride marches”.

More: Andrzej Duda., Homophobia, LGBT-free zones, nationalism, Poland, Warsaw

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