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Poland Elects Homophobe President


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Poland Elects Homophobe President

by Malcolm Thornberry 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief

Posted: October 24, 2005 12:01 am ET

(Warsaw) Exit polls show that Polish voters have elected Warsaw mayor Lech Kaczynski to be the country's new president. The win seals his ultra conservative Law and Justice Party's control of both the Parliament and the presidency.

Kaczynski was in a runoff Sunday with Civic Platform candidate Donald Tusk.

Tusk's centrist party still will be part of the coalition government led by Law and Justice.

Kaczynski's campaign was highlighted by promises of no new gay rights and featured numerous homophobic declarations.

Last week dummy bombs were found at locations throughout Poland. A previously unknown organization called the Gay Power Brigade claimed responsibility. (story)

In a lengthy manifesto sent to Warsaw newspapers and wire services the group condemned Kaczynski for his opposition to gay rights and for canceling last summer's gay pride march.

In June, Kaczynski refused to grant permission for the parade in Warsaw. (story) Nevertheless, more than 2,500 people ignored the order and marched anyway. (story) Opponents threw eggs and stones at the marchers, and police detained 29 people.

A coalition led by Law and Justice won a majority of seats in Parliament last month. Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, nominated by the Law and Justice party to lead the next government as prime minister, has made it clear his party would try to roll back any advances made by Polish gays.

Marcinkiewicz told the Polish edition of Newsweek magazine that propagating homosexuality constituted an infringement on the freedom of other people. (story)

``It is unnatural. Family is natural and the state should safeguard the family,'' Marcinkiewicz said, echoing the views of other leaders of his conservative party.

``If such a person tries to infect others with their homosexuality, then the state has to intervene in such an abuse of freedom,'' he said.

While the prime minister and his government wield most executive power in Poland, the president is commander in chief of the armed forces, can veto laws and direct foreign policy.

©365Gay.com 2005


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