Poland to crack down on ‘homosexual propaganda’ in schools

Legislation would fire teachers who promote gay rights and sanction officials who allow gay rights organizations to speak to students

March 19, 2007

Teachers in Poland may soon have to watch their words soon—at least as those words relate to gays and lesbians.

According to recent reports from Polish Radio, teachers who promote gay rights in schools risk losing their jobs under regulations currently being drawn up by the country’s Ministry of Education.

The proposed regulations do not sanction the firing of homosexual teachers, Deputy Education Minister Miroslaw Orzechowski told Polish Radio. Only teachers who “present homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle to students” – as well as those who sanction or have been convicted of pedophilia –are at risk of losing their jobs.

"There is no place for the promotion of homosexual culture" in Polish schools, Orzechowski said.

"No one is going to ask whether a teacher is homosexual," he added. "However, if a person with such leanings would want to promote homosexuality in school, and I'm not talking about inducing a child to such deeds, well then there's no place for such a person in school."

The country’s Ministry of Education also is working on additional legislation that would sanction school principals who allow gay rights organizations to speak with students.

Responsible for both pieces of legislation is Roman Giertych, Poland's controversial Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education.

"The propaganda of homosexuality is reaching ever younger children," Giertych said during a recent meeting of EU education ministers in Germany.

Although the government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski initially distanced itself from Giertych's comments, Kaczynski himself recently told reporters, "I feel these limitations should be applied," adding that while “homosexual lifestyles must be tolerated, they need not be positively affirmed.”

Poland's Campaign Against Homophobia has sharply criticized the government’s recent moves in general and Orzechowski's comments in particular.

"'Homosexual propaganda' is an idea as absurd as 'heterosexual propaganda," the organization said in a statement. "One cannot fight with homosexuality, but one can fight with homophobia, of which the Education Ministry presents a radical form." – Issued by Gay Link Content

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