Thousands march in Poland's annual Gay Pride celebration
Anthony Cuesta | May 21, 2007
Thousands of people marched Saturday in Poland for the annual gay-rights parade in Warsaw, days after the education minister called for a ban on the "propagation of homosexuality" in Polish schools.
The Associated Press reports that about 5,000 demonstrators marched from parliament through downtown, amid a heavy police presence, led by a truck festooned with red, blue, green and purple balloons and blasting strains of loud music.
Some marchers carried placards reading "Stop homophobia," while others toted rainbow flags.
Homosexuality largely remains a taboo in predominantly Catholic Poland and elsewhere in eastern Europe, and activists are up against a widespread belief that it is a perversion.
In past years, gay rights rallies in Warsaw and the western city of Poznan resulted in violent clashes but no incidents were reported Saturday.
The mayor of Warsaw rejected pleas this week to ban a gay parade in the Polish capital saying it poses no threat to morality, Polish Radio reported Friday.
Warsaw's Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz Walz, told Poland's national radio she has no grounds to ban the Equality Parade of gays and lesbians.
Walz said banning the gay parade would be in conflict with stands taken by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. – Issued by Gay Link Content
Poland to crack down on �homosexual propaganda� in schools