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tagged with: homophobia / poland
Warsaw Pride banned by Mayor

in POLAND, 31/05/2005

Let's show that there is no permission for lawlessness and injustice in Poland, a member of the European Union.

Concerned with the recent declarations made by the Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczynski, that he would again ban a legal and peaceful Equality Parade in violation of the Polish Constitution, we wish to powerfully state that despite his decision the Parade will take place on June 11.

We can no longer tolerate the humiliation and discrimination of gays and lesbians, and other social groups, by an individual who is running for the highest post in the republic. We can no longer accept the fact that we are treated as second-class citizens only because we are of a different sexual orientation that the dominant one.

Last year's ban of the Equality Parade - a bid tolerance celebration - was an action aimed against the most fundamental human rights, guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and most importantly by the Polish Constitution. Many circles in Poland and other countries protested against the ban.

The announcement that the Equality Parade would be banned again already stirred much social uproar. Human rights violations cannot stand in a country that is part of the European Community and values the social teaching of the Roman-Catholic Church. A country that rightly reprimands Belarus for human rights shortcomings cannot violate those rights at home.

This is why we have decided to no longer tolerate such humiliating practices. We do not agree to be humiliated and taken away the right to demonstrate peacefully. We do not agree for peaceful demonstrations to be easily disturbed by right-wing militia organizations and politicians, as seen last year during the March of Tolerance in Kraków.

We fear the "dark night" for gays and lesbians, proclaimed by the politicians of the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, that is likely to co-government starting autumn. History has taught us that the Holocaust, pogroms, and hate crimes happen in places where some begin to consider themselves as better, more moral, or more Arian that others. We will not allow PiS politicians to treat us as a worse category of people and demonstrate that there is no place for us in Poland. We should remember that if freedom is not defended on a daily basis, it may easily be lost.

This is why we're calling on all authorities, including Poland's Citizens' Rights Ombudsman and Prime Minister, to take a stand regarding the possibility of a repeated violation of fundamental human rights.

We encourage all those who value the ideals of tolerance and respect for human rights to take part in the Equality Parade. On June 11, let's show that there is no permission for lawlessness and injustice in Poland, a member of the European Union.

Sign ILGA's petition!!!

Tomasz Baczkowski, president, Equality Foundation

Robert Biedron, president, Campaign against Homophobia

Yga Kostrzewa, vice-president, Lambda Warszawa

Szymon Niemiec, president, ILGCN Polska
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