Gays Disrupt Speech By Polish President
by Malcolm Thornberry, 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief - LINK
March 9, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET
(Berlin) Gay rights advocates marched into the auditorium of Berlin's Humboldt University Thursday as Polish President Lech Kaczynski was preparing to speak.
LGBT groups have been dogging Kaczynski in several countries over his opposition to gay civil rights in Poland.
"Get this man out of the university," the protestors chanted as they attempted to make their way to the stage where Kaczynski was to speak on European affairs.
The Polish leader was protected by his own security detail and university officials blocked the demonstrators from reaching the stage, but allowed one of the protestors to speak.
Kaczynski sat impassively as the protester denounced Kaczynski's views on homosexuality.
When he finally got to the podium Kaczynski lashed out at the protestors, and the university for allowing the demonstrator to speak.
"I taught for 30 years at university but never in circumstances like this," Kaczynski said.
Last month Kaczynski was met by protestors in Chicago. (story) Members of the Gay Liberation Network dogged the Polish leader over two days in the Windy City.
The former Warsaw mayor was elected president last year. Both he and his ruling Law and Justice Party are under a warning from the European Union over threats to curtail LGBT civil rights.
Last June, while still Warsaw mayor, Kaczynski refused to grant permission for a gay pride parade in the capital. (story) Nevertheless, more than 2,500 people ignored the order and marched anyway. (story)
In October Kaczynski was elected President in a campaign marked by frequent homophobic attacks, prompting the European Union to issue a stern warning to the government not to try to limit the rights of gays and lesbians. (story)
The European Commission said that if the government continues to oppose gay rights Poland risks losing its voting rights in the EU.
Despite the warning a month later riot police were used to break up a gay pride parade in the city of Poznan.