WARSAW (Reuters) – More than 1000 people took part in a pride parade in the central Polish city of Plock protected by a cordon of armed police as LGBT rights became a hot button issue in Catholic Poland ahead of a parliamentary election in October.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has made hostility to gays a central focus of its campaign, depicting LGBT rights as a dangerous foreign idea that undermines traditional values.
Pride - Parade - City - Bialystok - July
A pride parade in the provincial city of Bialystok in July was marred by violence after anti-gay protesters chased people through the streets and beat them.
Critics say PiS has fomented anti-gay sentiment and helped lead the violence against the LGBT community in Poland.
Marchers - Streets - Plock - Rainbow - Flags
Marchers walked through the streets of Plock waving rainbow flags while surrounded by police in riot gear, TV footage from private broadcaster TVN showed.
Politicians, including Robert Biedron, one of Poland’s first openly gay politicians who launched the leftist Wiosna party earlier this year, attended the march.
Group - Counter-protesters - Plock - Parade - Insults
A group of counter-protesters gathered at the Plock parade and chanted homophobic insults but were blocked from interacting with parade participants by the heavy police presence.
A Plock police spokeswoman told Reuters there were around 950 counter-protesters in total and that two people were detained.
Incidents - Place - Spokeswoman - Scuffles - Police
No serious incidents took place, the spokeswoman added, although there were a few scuffles with police, TV footage showed.
“For many years in Poland not much was done to handle such...
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