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Pressemeldung von Campaign Against Homophobia

16. November 2005

Apeal on the International Day of Tolerance


Speaking for all members of the Campaign Against Homophobia, we wish to protest against the decision of Ryszard Grobelny, the mayor of the city of Poznan, who issued a ban of the peaceful March of Equality.

The right to gather is a fundamental right of every citizen. The Polish Constitution leaves no doubt about this. Its Article 32 reads: "All are equal before the law. All have the right to equal treatment by public authorities. Nobody can be discriminated against in the political, social, or economic life for any reason."

Unfortunately, the Mayor of Poznan followed in the footsteps of the current Mayor of Warsaw, who banned demonstrations staged by gays and lesbians. The Warsaw Mayor, who is Poland's future President, a defender of the Constitution, said he would never agree to a march of gays and lesbians even before the organizers of the Warsaw's Equality Parade began the process of registering the demonstration.

In Poznan, a year ago already politicians of the Law and Justice (PiS) party objected to the March of Equality. The chairperson of the City Council of Poznan, PiS councilor Przemyslaw Alexandrowicz, said at that time: "I don't want Poznan to see manifestations of different sexual orientations, that is homosexuality, pedophilia, necrophilia, or zoophilia." A prosecutorial procedure against those remarks is still pending.

In the spring of 2005, another PiS politician Kazimierz Michal Ujazdowski, who now is the Minister of Culture, said during an election meeting in Torun: "Let's not mistake the brutal propaganda of homosexual attitudes for calls for tolerance. For them, our rule will indeed mean a dark night." Today, PiS, with the support of the far- right League of Polish Families (LPR) and the ultra-catholic media of Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, have their president, prime minister, and the speaker of the lower house of Parliament. Is there any place in their Fourth Republic for people who think differently than the ruling party?

Yesterday, on the day when the Mayor of Poznan was banning a peaceful demonstration, a very important anniversary for Polish gays and lesbians has passed. Exactly 20 years ago, on November 15, 1985, on the orders of General Czeslaw Kiszczak, the communist Minister of Internal Affair, the communist police began the Hyacinth action. For two years, the militsiya registered thousands of homosexuals. That action was designed to infiltrate and destroy the gay and lesbian movement, emerging at that time, and intimidating potential supporters of that movement. Until this day, the National Remembrance Institute holds 11,000 files on Polish homosexuals in its archives.

On this special day, the International Day of Tolerance created by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 12, 1996, we appeal to the Mayor of Poznan and the politicians of the ruling Law and Justice party to observe the rules of democracy, to offer equal treatment for all citizens of Poland regardless of their sexual orientation or their beliefs. The freedom of expression and gathering is a fundamental human right.

The Board of the Campaign against Homophobia

Contact:

Tomasz Szypula

Secretary of the Board

Phone +48 602273263

Marta Abramowicz

Vice-president

Phone +48 603371950