Polish election: Leader targets gay rights as threat to society

BBC News | 10/15/2019 | Staff
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"We consider two communities fundamental, the family as one man, one woman and the children," said the leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) at a recent convention.

LGBT+ rights have become the single biggest cultural issue in Poland's election campaign ahead of Sunday's vote. In the eyes of Jaroslaw Kaczynski's national-conservative party and the Catholic Church, those rights are a threat to traditional Polish families and values.

Mr - Kaczynski - Threats - Society - Election

Mr Kaczynski likes to identify threats to Polish society - during the election campaign four years ago, he said Middle Eastern migrants might bring "parasites and protozoa" to Poland.

This time around, according to Mr Kaczynski, the threat comes from LGBT+ people and from Europe, where families can have "two mummies or two daddies", he said.

Poland - Constitution - States - Marriage - Man

Poland's 1997 constitution states that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Civil partnerships, be they between heterosexual or same-sex couples, are not legally recognised.

"Christianity is part of our national identity, the [Catholic] Church was and is the preacher and holder of the only commonly held system of values in Poland," he said. "Outside of it… we have only nihilism."

Catholic - Church - Figures - Archbishop - Krakow

Senior Catholic Church figures have gone further, most notably the Archbishop of Krakow, Marek Jedraszewski, who on numerous occasions has identified the "LGBT lobby" and "gender ideology" as the new threat to Polish freedom following the end of communism in 1989, calling it "totalitarian" and a "great threat to our freedom".

In the beautiful, medieval city of Torun, birthplace of the astronomer Copernicus, chef Mariusz Godlejewski rejected the notion that he was a threat. During more than a decade living in Ireland, Mariusz married his long-term partner Bartosz before the couple returned to their homeland last year.

Husband - Years - Strangers - Family

"My husband and I have been together for 14 years. Who are we, two strangers living together? We are family as well,"...
(Excerpt) Read more at: BBC News
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