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Lech Walesa – 'Gays should be made to sit at the back in parliament'

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 02.03.2013 09:13
In an astonishing outburst against homosexuals, former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa has said that gay MPs should sit at the back of the parliament chamber, or even “behind a wall”.
Колишній президент Польщі Лєх ВаленсаКолишній президент Польщі Лєх ВаленсаLech Walesa Institute

Lech Walesa: photo - Lech Walesa Institute

“Homosexuals should sit on the last bench in the plenary hall, or even behind the wall, and not somewhere at the front,” Walesa, who was president of Poland from 1990 to 1995, told the TVN24 broadcaster on Friday evening.

Walesa was giving his views on recent debates in parliament about legalising civil partnerships for hetro and homosexuals in Poland and other social issues, when he said: “a minority cannot impose itself on the majority”.

“They must know they are a minority and adapt themselves to smaller things,” the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner and staunch Roman Catholic said, adding that he would not have voted for Anna Grodzka, Europe's only transsexual MP, when she was nominated by her party, the Palikot Movement, to become deputy speaker of parliament in January.

Robert Biedron, who became Poland's first ever openly gay MP in the 2011 general election, responded to the outburst by saying, “I would be happy to meet with Lech Walesa”.

“I love Lech Walesa - because if it was not for him I would not be here sitting with you,” Biedron, also an MP for the liberal-left Palikot Movement, told a TVN journalist, referring to Walesa's role in toppling communism.

“But his son [Jaroslaw Walesa, who is a member of the European Parliament] should sit him down and explain a few things: civil partnerships, IVF,” Biedron added.

The ruling centre-right Civic Platform party – who Lech Walesa has given qualified support to in the past - has yet to come to a unified stance on civil partnerships and state funding for the IVF treatment.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said that the party will meet on Monday to decide the fate of leading Civic Platform conservative, Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin, within the government, after he led campaigns to block votes in parliament legalising civil partnerships. (pg)

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