Poland likely to have openly gay and trans activists in Parliament

Submitted by Greg Czarnecki, Campaign Against Homophobia

Preliminary Parliamentary elections results in Poland show that the new left party, Palikot Movement, has gained about 10% making it the third strongest party. This means that trans activist Ania Grodzka, president of Trans-fuzja (elected in Krakow) and LGBT activist Robert Biedron, board member of KPH (elected in Gdynia) will become MPs. This is a historical event which would make them the first openly LGBT people in the Polish Parliament. In an interview, Palikot promised to present a bill for registered partnerships before the end of the year, though he doesn’t know how it will be received by the rest of Parliament.

Palikot’s Movement is a recently formed party (2010), lead by entrepreneur Janusz Palikot. He was an MP with the ruling Civil Platform (PO) leading the so-called “Friendly Government” Commission. He left the party after disagreements with the Prime Minister. His party is very left on social issues, gathering many activists from movements for LGBT rights, legalizing marihuana, abortion and women’s rights, and is very anti-clerical. Economically he is more liberal than left. He is criticized for having being the owner of a homophobic and Catholic magazine “Ozon” in 2005-6 which he now admits was a mistake.

The PO party gained about 40% and it is the first time in post-communist Polish history that a party was re-elected with such popularity. This will mean that they will most likely be reluctant to make many reforms. The left-wing party, SLD, which presented the bill for registered partnerships earlier this year, suffered a huge defeat with only 7%.
Official results will be available on Tuesday.

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