Polish gays protest against parade ban

June 14, 2004

A participant in the Freedom Parade waves a rainbow flag with the word Pace (Peace) in protest over discrimination of homosexuals
Photo - AFP
WARSAW — About 1,000 homosexuals held a rally in the Polish capital Friday to protest against the mayor's decision to ban their annual gay parade.

"We are fighting for the fundamental right to be free," Szymon Niemiec, one of the organisers told the rally outside Warsaw's city hall.

The demonstrators carried signs proclaiming " No to homophobia" or "Liberty, Equality".

Warsaw's rightist mayor said he had banned homosexuals and their Catholic nationalist opponents from demonstrating Friday for "security reasons".

The bans were subsequently cancelled and sent back for review by the prefect of the Warsaw region, but Kaczynski did not change his mind.

Gay groups said they would file a legal complaint.

In March 2003, gay pride posters on billboards prompted howls of protest from politicians and political parties on the left and right, and in April a demonstration by 1,200 gays in Krakow degenerated into clashes involving the protestors, their opponents and police.

More than 90 percent of the population in Poland is Roman Catholic. – Sapa-AFP

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"Love is one" say Polish gays [16/02/2004]



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