News :: International

Right-Wing Polish Party’s Homophobic Icon Raises Howls

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Dec 1, 2011
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Earlier this week a Polish court allowed a far-right movement to officially register an anti-gay symbol as its logo,the AFP reported in a Nov. 23 article.

Gay rights activists in Poland are outraged by the ruling and say that it shows signs of hate and intolerance. Robert Bierdon, Poland’s first openly gay member of parliament, was one of the activists upset with the decision.

"Such symbols tap directly into fascist, neo-fascist and xenophobic traditions, and intolerance," Biedron told the media.

The National Rebirth of Poland (NOP) is the organization that registered the offensive logo, which is a depiction of gay sex with a red bar through it. The group often protests gay right rallies in Poland.

Grzegorz Schetyna, a senior player in Poland’s ruling centrist Civic Platform, said that the judge who allowed the NOP to register the symbol was "failing in his duties," and says that the icon is unacceptable.

Gay rights in Poland has been somewhat of a struggle. According to the article, 80 percent of Poles are against gay marriage and 93 percent believe same-sex couples should not have the right to adopt. In addition, two out of three Polish citizens oppose gay rights demonstrations.

Despite this, Bierdon became the first openly gay man to be elected to parliament. In addition, the first transsexual woman, Anna Grodzka, was elected to parliament, the Associated Press reported.

Bierdo and Grodzka are members of the Palikot Movement, which is a new progressive party that became the third-largest party in the Polish parliament.

Poland has a number of discrimination protections that cover the LGBT community. In 2007, an anti-discrimination law was passed by the Ministry of Labor that would prohibit discrimination on different grounds, including sexual orientation. Gay men and women are protected in the workplace, social security, health care and education.

Same-sex marriage, however, is not legal in the country but gays are allowed to serve in the military. In addition, transgender people are allowed to legal change their gender once they have the appropriate surgeries.

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