Polish Prime Minister visting London 24 Nov.
Thursday, 24 November 2005
10 St James's Square
London SW1Y 4LE
(nearest tubes Green Park and Piccadilly Circus)
Poland’s notoriously homophobic Prime Minister, Kazimierz
Marcinkiewicz, will be in London on Thursday to give a lecture at
“The Polish LGBT movement has urged British LGBTs to protest against
his visit, especially in the light of last Saturday’s police violence
and arrests of LGBT marchers in the Polish city of Poznan,” said David
Allison of the LGBT human rights group OutRage!.
“Please show your solidarity with our Polish brothers and sisters, who
are under attack.
“This is the Polish Prime Minister's first official visit abroad since
his election. Make it memorable for him. Join us in showing Prime
Minister Marcinkiewicz that homophobes are not welcome in the UK,”
said Mr Allison.
Further information: Brett Lock OutRage! - 07xxx xxxxxx
Nigel Warner ILGA-Europe - 02xxx xxxxxx
The homophobic Polish Prime Minister, Mr Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
He promotes homophobia and tolerates homophobia
Since being appointed Prime Minister in new Polish Government, Mr
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz has caused grave anxiety among Poland's
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Politicians from Mr Marcinkiewicz’s Law and Justice Party have been
prominent in denouncing the LGBT community and banning LGBT rights
celebrations and demonstrations. They have stood aside as peaceful
LGBT events have been violently attacked by supporters of their
Mr Marcinkiewicz rise to power has coincided with escalating
intolerance of LGBT people, and a wave of homophobic violence – much
of it politically motivated.
The new government is increasingly closely associated with more
extreme parties on the right, particularly the League of Polish
Families. This party has been virulent in its opposition to LGBT
rights, and its youth wing, All Poland Youth, has repeatedly organised
violent and hate-fuelled counter-demonstrations against peaceful LGBT
Attached is a diary of events detailing attacks on the lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender community in Poland by representatives of Law
and Justice and League of Polish Families in recent times.
These events raise serious concerns about the new Polish government’s
willingness to fulfil its obligations under the EU Charter of
Fundamental Rights, and under the UN and Council of Europe human
We draw attention to the following incidents:
– On October 3 2005 Mr Marcinkiewicz is reported to have said: “the
family is natural and the state must stand guard over the family. I
do not care if someone is a homosexual or not … But if that person
tries to infect others with their homosexuality, then the state must
intervene in this violation of freedom” (Newsweek, Polish edition).
– In one of its first actions, Mr Marcinkiewicz’s government announced
the abolition of the Office of the Plenipotentiary for Equal Status.
The immediate abolition of such a key institution for combating
discrimination against women, LGBT people and others underlines
concerns regarding the Mr Marcinkiewicz’s attitude towards LGBT
equality and his resolve to adhere to the EU’s Charter of Fundamental
– The President of Poland, Mr Lech Kaczynski, has, on two occasions,
when Mayor of Warsaw, banned peaceful demonstrations by LGBT people
for their human rights. One justification he is reported to have given
for these actions is that he is “against propagating gay
– Mr Kaczynski has also expressed a surprising level of support for
those organising violent counter-demonstrations and expressing
profoundly anti-democratic views. Polish radio reported him saying
that he was outraged by what he described as unequal police treatment
of an LGBT parade and the counter-demonstration; implying that the
police were too hard on aggressive anti-gay protesters and not hard
enough on peaceful gay protesters.
– In the Spring of 2005, Law and Justice politician Kazimierz Michal
Ujazdowski is reported as stating during an election meeting in Torun:
“Let’s not mistake the brutal propaganda of homosexual attitudes for
calls for tolerance. For them our rule will indeed mean a dark night”.
Mr Ujazdowski is now the Minister of Culture.
– In November 2004 the chairperson of the City Council of Poznan, Law
and Justice councillor, Przemyslaw Alexndrowicz, reportedly said, in
connection with the proposed LGBT demonstration: “I don’t want Poznan
to see manifestations of different sexual orientations, that is
homosexuality, pedophilia, necrophilia, or zoophilia”. The march was
subsequently blocked when activists of the All Poland Youth began
throwing stones at the marchers.
– Last week, the Mayor of Poznan banned this year’s LGBT march. LGBT
people marched anyway. Over 60 were arrested. Many more were injured
after being pelted by far right anti-gay protesters.
– On occasion after occasion the youth wing of the League of Polish
Families, All Poland Youth, has been clearly implicated in the
organisation of violent opposition to peaceful demonstrations by the
LGBT community. The government of PM Marcinkiewicz seems to be taking
an overly tolerant stance towards right-wing homophobic extremism,
while showing considerable intolerance towards Poland’s law-abiding
The overt and repeated homophobic outbursts by public figures can only
serve to incite hatred and violence against the LGBT community. In
June, Poland’s main LGBT organisations issued a joint statement
expressing concern at the escalation of hatred towards homosexual
people, and citing a number of violent incidents including the
shooting of two activists outside a gay club (one of whom was a board
member of Poland’s national LGBT organisation, Campaign against
Note: This news release is excerpted and edited by OutRage! from a
briefing prepared by Nigel Warner of ILGA-Europe, the European Region
of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), which works
for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights and equality
at European level. www.ilga-europe.org
Our thanks to ILGA-Europe.
Contact: Nigel Warner 02xxx xxxxxx