Friday, October 07, 2005


What is this electoral obsession with gays all about? (pictured: Bosak Krzysztof, youngest MP (23) in the new parliament, League of Polish Families)

As Gustav points out at the Warsaw Station (top blog!) the Law and Justice part of the new rightwing coalition has lost no time in getting stuck in to pedaly (queers). Gustav writes, under the headline, PiS bigotry already rears its ugly head:

‘Poland's likely next prime minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, has described homosexuality as "unnatural" and believes the state should stop gays "infecting" others with their behaviour, according to an interview. "The spread of homosexuality is a threat to the liberty of other citizens, Marcinkiewicz, named by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party to lead the next government, told the Polish edition of Newsweek. "If a person tries to contaminate others with his homosexuality, the state should intervene against such an attack on liberty," he added.

"Homosexuality is not natural. What is natural is the family. The state must protect the family," said Marcinkiewicz, a devout Roman Catholic and father of four.

The PiS party won the most seats in legislative polls held on September 25 and has been in talks with second-placed Civic Platform on forming a coalition government.

In June, when he was mayor of Warsaw, PiS party leader and presidential candidate Lech Kaczynski banned a gay parade in the capital.’

Indeed. One of the saddest things about the election campaigns in Poland this time is how many times gays have been turned into modern day folk devils, just so that a few political pygmies can pick up a few cheap votes.

I was on the Tolerance Parade, the gay and lesbian demonstration in June. This was the march that was banned – not just this year, but last year as well - by the presidential candidate, Lech Kaczynski.

I thought long and hard before I joined that march. Not because I didn’t think it was an important issue in Poland – far from it. Not because I was scared someone might think I was gay - because I am not, but I don’t care if people think that I am. And not because I had never been on a march like that before, because I have done, many times (we have had a little bit of trouble in the past in the UK with troglodytes as well).

The reason I was uncertain was because I was not Polish - so did I have a right to get involved?

And then I thought about the EU. Here is Brussels, trying to get involved in all sorts of ways in Poland – from above. So what was the harm in me trying to help change things from below?

So I went on the march.

I wrote about this in How to Spoil a Skinheads Weekend. On the countermarch by far-rightists that day was, the now, youngest member of the new Polish parliament – Bosak Krzysztof. It was his gang that pelted us with eggs and rocks. If you have never been pelted with eggs and rocks by a gang of weirdo zealots, then I can tell you that it is extremely irritating.

Anyway, it seems that making homophobic soufflé is a good thing to put on your CV in Poland, if you want to be a far-right politician and get on in the world, that is.

But apart from the dairy produce deluge, we – about 3,000 people of various sexual persuasions – had a much better time than the few hundred, angry thugs. It was good to know that there are people in this country who are not going to put up with this sort of crap.

But the opportunist use of primitive prejudices by Marcinkiewicz this week only encourages people like Krzysztof, and that pathetic little bunch, to throw more eggs and rocks, and get worked up about something that is no threat to them at all. It’s time to grow up, guys.


michael farris said...

Hey, queer baiting (not terror) probably got W elected in 2004. Why wouldn't Polish politicians follow such a winning strategy?

It is kind of funny (in a morbid sort of way) that so many Polish people are worried that they have an international image as primitive yokels and when they (in the form of the politicians they elect) do so many primitive yokel things in such a high profile way.

Gustav said...

Just to be fair, I must admit that "I" didn't write that post - just the caption to the picture, and the title.

The rest is from Yahoo! News, which got it from "AFP" - which is written above the post, and links to the original source.

For future reference, if it's in blockquotes, I didn't write it. I wish I had enough time to write on every topic that interests me but sadly, I have to work for a living. ;-) I always make pledges about more original content, but I find in the end I'm far too lazy.

For the moment I'm content to inform others and comment on what interests me.

It was good to know that there are people in this country who are not going to put up with this sort of crap.


beatroot said...

It a program about this on Polonia. And I got this letter from the UK gay and Lesbian Humanist Society! I'm glad to know there is one! He said that I h filed to mention the cause of this bigotry - Poland is catholic. I thought that was a bit strange. Spain has lots of catholics in it too, but it also has legal gay unions! So what is it?

michael farris said...

I don't think it has that much to do with catholicism (though it's worth noting that historically relations between the church and the people are very different in Spain and Poland).

One thing to remember is that despite some appearances to the contrary, the personal isn't political in Poland (and vice versa). Lots of Polish people will make lots of authoritarian intolerant comments about any group that doesn't fit the group norm, but are prepared to make exceptions when they actually know someone from one of these groups.
Also, IME if you can present an issue in terms of tolerance, most Polish people will come down on the side of tolerance (in their head - follow through might be weak).

Finally, in the specific case of gay folks, the irritant for most people isn't morals but nonconformity. Most Poles are principled conformists and more concerned about manners than morals. Convince them that blatent public homophobic statements are low class and generally not acceptable among polite company (as they are and should not be) and they calm down. It may not be ideal, but it's progress of a sort.

beatroot said...

Can't disagree with any of that at all. But, you know, this homo-obsession is a new thing here. It has only been an issue since a couple of years ago - maybe the same time as the country entered the EU. All of a sudden, it's an easy way to get votes.

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