President refuses gay pride parade patronage

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from,President-refuses-gay-pride-parade-patronage

The Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) opposition party has criticized President Komorowski for his refusal to assume patronage over the the gay pride parade scheduled for 15 June in Warsaw.

“It is a political mistake,” Dariusz Joński, a spokesman for the party said, adding that it took six months before the organizers of the annual parade through the streets of the capital received a ‘no’ response from the presidential chancellery.

‘’I hope it was the decision of the President’s advisers and that he himself holds a different view,” the SLD spokesman said.

The organisers of the parade sent a request to Bronislaw Komorowski – who was formerly a member of the ruling centre-right Civic Platform party – last December, but only received a reply on 29 May.

"The Office of the President of Poland cannot agree to your request and give consent to grant honorary patronage to the Equality Parade," a letter addressed from the President's Office to parade organisers said.

Dariusz Joński said, however, that Komorowski has often called for 'tolerance' and 'diversity' in Poland and should show that he is the president of the whole of the country and not just a part of it.

“If he makes up his mind and turns up at the parade, he will show that he is a president of all Poles. If not, he’ll show that he’s the same as [conservative opposition] Law and Justice [PiS] leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and former justice minister Jaroslaw Gowin [both of whom are firmly against legalizing same-sex partnerships]” Joński added.

Honorary patronage of this year's event – which as well as calling for a civil partnerships law in Poland will also be demanding better access for disabled people to public buildings and the tightening of animal rights law – will be by the government's equality minister Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz.

The organisers are also waiting for a response from president of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, to take up patronage of the event. (pg/mk)

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