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by Rex Wockner
The European Parliament passed a resolution April 26 criticizing government-sponsored legislation in Poland that would ban discussion of gay topics in schools and punish teachers and principals who violate the proposed law with firing and a fine or jail time. The vote was 325 to 124 with 150 abstentions.
“These kinds of people cannot work with children,” Polish Deputy Minister of Education Miroslaw Orzechowski told local radio in March. “These activities need to be acted upon … before it’s too late to make a difference.”
Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Roman Giertych also has spoken in favor of the legislation, saying, “Homosexual propaganda must … be limited so children will have the correct view of the family. … If we will not use all our power to strengthen the family, then as a continent there is no future for us. We will be a continent settled by representatives of the Islamic world who care for the family.”
The Euro resolution also calls for a gay fact-finding mission to be sent to Poland, for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, and for the European Commission to launch court actions against European Union member states that breach EU obligations.
Following the parliament’s vote, Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski claimed that “nobody is limiting gay rights in Poland.”
But he added: “If we’re talking about not having homosexual propaganda in Polish schools, I fully agree with those who feel this way. Such propaganda should not be in schools; it definitely doesn’t serve youth well. It’s not in the interest of any society to increase the number of homosexuals — that’s obvious.”
Kaczynski previously has called gays “perverse,” and his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, has warned that if homosexuality “were to be promoted on a grand scale, the human race would disappear.”
In response to the Euro resolution, Patricia Prendiville, executive director of the European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, said, “Homophobia is, unfortunately, alive and well across Europe and the firm stance of the European Parliament is crucial for furthering the fight against discrimination and prejudice which LGBT people in Europe face on a daily basis.”