Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Polish president uses gay activist's wedding pictures to express oppositon to same-sex marriage

A Queens gay activist has filed a formal complaint against the Polish president after he used images of his wedding in a speech that expressed opposition to marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

President Lech Kaczynski used images from Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton’s 2003 wedding in Toronto during a nationally televised address to explain his opposition to the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty based, in part, because he vehemently opposes same-sex nuptials. Kaczynski and other Polish government officials have a long history of anti-LGBT rhetoric and supporting anti-LGBT legislation.

Human Rights Watch wrote former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski in March 2007 to warn against passage of a bill that would have banned the discussion of homosexuality in Polish schools, while the EU and activists across the world widely panned assertions a leading Polish official made last May that suggested the popular cartoon Teletubbies promote the so-called homosexual lifestyle.

Homophobia and even violence against LGBT Poles remain concerns, but some activists expressed optimism newly elected Prime Minister Donald Tusk would begin to address these issues upon his inauguration last November.

Fay said he plans to meet with the Polish Counsel General in New York next week. He added he will also request to meet with Kaczynski.


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