Poles oppose Walesa's stance on gay MPs

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from thenews.pl: http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/129646,Majority-of-Poles-oppose-Walesas-stance-on-gay-MPs-survey-claims

Contrary to comments made by Lech Walesa, only one-in-three Poles say gay MPs should sit in the back row of parliament “or behind a wall”, a survey claims.

The poll was carried out by the Homo Homini research institute following Walesa's outspoken 1 March remarks – that homosexuals “must know they are a minority and adapt themselves to smaller things” – during an interview with the TVN television station.

He also claimed that 95 percent of Poles agreed with him on the issue.

Some 59 percent of respondents in the new poll answered, however, that they did not agree with Walesa's statement, while 31 said that they did, and 10 percent said that they did not know.

Walesa's original remarks, which came amid ongoing efforts by Prime Minister Donald Tusk to pass legislation legalising civil partnerships, caused a storm of controversy in Poland.

One leading academic branded the former Solidarity leader as a member of Poland's “new barbarians.”

Walesa refused to apologise, telling the RMF FM radio station that “95 percent of the nation” was on his side. He proceeded to publish letters of support on his private blog, including statements that denounced homosexuals as “perverts.”

Walesa has now published a slightly more conciliatory letter in the new edition of the Wprost weekly, in which he says he is on “friendly terms” with more than one homosexual, and that he “doesn't look into people's beds as I'm not bothered (by such matters).

“I do not deny anyone the right to sit in parliament,” he claimed, “but we should discuss the criteria of being a member of parliament, which must be based on real skills and knowledge, not on skin colour or any personal preferences and tastes.”

Currently there is one black MP in parliament, John Godson of Prime Minister Tusk's centre-right Civic Platform party. There is one openly gay MP, Robert Biedron of the liberal Palikot's Movement party, and one transsexual, Anna Grodzka, also of Palikot's Movement.

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