Majority of Poles oppose gay rights parade: survey

June 07, 2004

Warsaw — A majority of Poles oppose public demonstrations in support of equal rights for gays and lesbians, according to a poll released Friday by Polish Radio Friday.

Some 49 per cent of respondents were opposed to public demonstrations for homosexual rights, while 41 per cent approved.

Some 9 per cent of respondents were undecided.

The survey comes in amidst a bitter row between Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski and Polish gay and lesbian rights activists over plans for a gay rights parade in the city on June 11.

Kaczynski has refused to approve the march twice, saying it could pose a threat to public order and offend religious and moral sensibilities.

But sticking to their plans for the annual march, gay activists have vowed to pursue their democratic right to freedom of assembly through the courts, if necessary.

On Friday, the Warsaw-area provincial governor vetoed Kaczynski's ban on the march for a second time saying there were no legal grounds preventing it from going ahead as scheduled.

The Warsaw mayor will have to review the request for the march a third time. A Warsaw city officials said Friday a decision could be expected on Monday.

Last month, a gay and lesbian rights demonstration in the southern Polish city of Krakow ended in violence when members of far right- wing groups and football hooligans attacked marchers and subsequently clashed with police.

The survey was conducted for Polish Radio by the Pentor pollsters on a random representative sample of 800 Poles. – Sapa-DPA

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