by Rex Wockner
Well-known New York City gay activist Brendan Fay filed a complaint with the Polish consulate general after Polish President Lech Kaczynski displayed a photo and video clip from Fay’s 2003 Canadian wedding during a March 17 nationally televised address in which Kaczynski denounced same-sex marriage.
The Polish broadcast also showed Fay’s and husband Thomas Moulton’s marriage certificate.
In the speech, Kaczynski urged that Poland not adopt the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights because it might force Poland to recognize or legalize same-sex marriages.
“This could clash with the prevailing moral order in Poland and force us to accept an institution which contradicts the convictions of the great majority,” Kaczynski said.
In a letter to Poland’s consul general in New York, Fay protested: “We are frustrated to hear that images from such a joyous day are used to spread intolerance. I request a meeting to discuss the matter of civil rights raised by the Polish political leader’s remarks and the uses/misuse of our wedding photographs. … We would never have agreed to permit our photographs as part of a homophobic campaign.”
Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk has agreed to meet and called Kaczynski’s actions a “pitiful incident.”
The Polish gay group Campaign Against Homophobia commented: “The message and the choice of images used in the address is a clear sign of ignorance and overt homophobia. It is an embarrassment that an image of a foreign, happily married couple … should be used to promote hatred and misconceptions in our country by the head of state.
“[I]n light of Lech Kaczynski’s decision to ban the [gay] Equality Parade twice [when he was] mayor of Warsaw, we worry that the president is consciously capitalizing on the fears of a certain part of Polish society towards lesbians and gays.”