Polish parliament debates bill to ban “promoting homosexuality” and LGBT parades

A bill proposing to ban LGBT pride parades and other public gatherings that “promote” non-heterosexual orientations and non-biological gender identities was debated yesterday evening in Poland’s parliament.

Aug 29, 2021: ‘Anti-LGBT ideology zones’ are being enacted in Polish towns

The bill is a citizens’ initiative rather than one proposed by any political group. But it received backing last night from some MPs in Poland’s national-conservative ruling coalition.

However, the proposal was condemned by centrist and left-wing opposition MPs. One deputy speaker of parliament said that the speech presenting the legislation, which compared LGBT activism with Nazism, was the “most disgusting” he had heard in the chamber.

The proposed law was resubmitted by the Life and Family foundation, led by Kaja Godek, a prominent anti-abortion activist, after the speaker threw out  a previous version for procedural errors. The lower house of parliament, the Sejm, is required to admit such bills if they receive supporting signatures from at least 100,000 citizens.

The new version of the bill received more than 140,000 signatures, many of which were collected outside churches, and was promoted by Radio Maryja, an influential Catholic radio station whose founder, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, has been an ally of PiS, reports Wprost.

The law would ban public assemblies that “promote”, among other things, “sexual orientations other than heterosexuality”, the idea of non-biological gender, same-sex marriage or civic partnerships, or the adoption of children by same-sex couples.

The bill was presented by Krzysztof Kasprzak on behalf of the foundation. In his speech, he described the LGBT movement as “totalitarian”, and compared it to communism and fascism as it “seeks to topple the natural order and introduce terror”, reports Onet.

“The first homosexual commando arose in the 1930s in Nazi Germany. Hitler deliberately surrounded himself with homosexual activists,” he said in his speech.

Similar claims have been made in recent years by figures from Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) and the Catholic church. The PiS education minister has said that  “LGBT ideology comes from the same roots as Nazism”. The archbishop of Kraków has likened it to Bolshevism and Nazism.

Kasprzak’s speech was met by heckling from the opposition benches and prompted the entire caucus of The Left (Lewica), the second largest opposition group, to leave the chamber in protest.

MPs from the centrist Civic Platform (PO), which is the largest opposition party, also protested, turning their backs to the rostrum when Kasprzak was taking questions.

Włodzimierz Czarzasty, one of the leaders of The Left and a deputy speaker of parliament who was presiding at the time, produced a rainbow flag after Kasprzak had finished speaking. “Democracy has a high price,” said Czarzasty, calling the speech “the most disgusting I have heard in two years sitting here”.

Jul 17, 2020: Scare Tactics About ‘LGBTQ Ideology’ Helped Trump’s Ally Win the Polish Election

The bill received support from Piotr Kaleta, an MP from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, who held up photographs purporting to be from pride marches.

“I don’t want, and I think most of our citizens don’t want, such things to happen and for our children to watch them,” he said. “We want normality…You say that’s the Middle Ages? I want to be in the Middle Ages, because that’s the normal time of our Polishness.”

It was later pointed out that a photo Kaleta showed was in fact a doctored image in which some American protesters’ weapons had been exchanged for rainbow-coloured sex toys.

Asked about the bill during an interview with TVN24, deputy education minister Tomasz Rzymkowski said that he was in favour of its further procedure. Although he believes in the right of assembly, there needed to be a discussion on where the “boundaries of freedom” lie, he explained.

“It is not a question of who cannot [demonstrate], but what acts are prohibited at demonstrations in the public space,” he said. “LGBT is undoubtedly an ideology dictated by a mutation of Marxism. Marxism in its pure form was the struggle of classes, Nazism was the struggle of races, and here we have a struggle against a sexual background.”

Earlier this year, the education minister condemned LGBT pride parades for “promoting deviancy” and said that those who do so “do not have the same rights” as “normal people”. Last year, another government minister called for a ban on “promoting LGBT ideology” and teaching gender studies at universities and schools in Poland.

A large number of local authorities in Poland – usually under PiS control – have since 2019 adopted resolutions declaring opposition to “LGBT ideology”. They do not, however, have any legal binding force, and some have recently been withdrawn under the threat of losing EU funds.

Oct 27, 2021: In breaking news from Brussels, the European Union’s top court has ordered Poland to pay one million euros a day over a legal dispute with the bloc. The European Court of Justice says Warsaw failed to heed an earlier EU ruling that demanded changes to some of Poland’s judicial reforms. The EU decision in July found that the Polish Supreme Court’s new disciplinary chamber did not guarantee independence, in clear violation of EU law.

However, yesterday another PiS MP, Kacper Płażyński, told Polsat News that the bill was a “provocation” and self-promotion by Godek’s foundation. He argued that, even it were passed, it would be impossible to implement. But his party had an unwritten rule not to reject citizens’ bills in their first reading, he added.

Opposition MPs speaking during the debate also described the bill as unlawful and unconstitutional. “Legal transgressions alone already disqualify this bill,” noted Magdalena Filiks of PO.

“But the worst thing is what is concealed in the assumptions of its author. Quotations by Himmler were heard from the rostrum…Those ideas ended in gas chambers and crematoria. How do you differ from them?” she asked.

Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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