Fines, arrests looming for Polish Gay Pride supporters

Danny McCoy | November 24, 2005

POZNAN< Poland — Dozens of gay rights activists are looking at potential fines or prison sentences of up to a month for rallying in the Polish city of Poznan over the weekend, defying a city wide ban on their 'Equality March', authorities said.

In the latest standoff between an increasingly active gay rights movement and authorities in the staunch Roman Catholic nation, a few hundred activists staged a demonstration in the western city this weekend, although police had blocked their planned parade route.

Sixty-eight activists could face fines of up to 5,000 zlotys ($1,500 American) or up to one month in prison, according to Miroslaw Adamski, spokesman for the district prosecutor's office in Poznan.

A spokesman for city police, Andrzej Borwiak, told the Associated Press that about a dozen aggressive counter-demonstrators were arrested. Some threw eggs and chanted slogans such as, �We are going to do with you what Hitler did with the Jews�, AP reported.

The Equality March was organized as part of a days-long festival in Poznan devoted to promoting tolerance. On Tuesday, local authorities banned Saturday's march, on the grounds it posed a �danger to life, health and property.�

Poland � a conservative country that joined the European Union last year � has been grappling with the issue of how far to go in accepting homosexuality. Gay rights rallies in Poland have drawn anti-gay protesters in past years, often resulting in violent clashes. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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Polish gays protest against parade ban [14/06/2004]



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