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