Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s defense minister has criticized both the city authorities for promoting the equality parade that took place in the city on 11 August and demonstrators. The minister made his remarks on August 12 on a TV program broadcast by the conservative Catholic station “TV Trwam.”
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“Another parade of sodomites, of people trying to force on us their interpretation of the rights and duties of citizens,” commented Mr Błaszczak on the Poznań equality parade.
The minister was critical of the behavior of the city authorities who tried to decorate the city’s trams and buses with rainbow-colored flags on the day of the demonstrations. After a few hours and adverse staff and public reaction, the Poznań public transport company removed the flags from its vehicles.
Mr Błaszczak praised those trams and bus drivers who refused to put the rainbow flags on their vehicles. “This shows that the Polish nation is on the side of normality and God’s laws and that we resist the abnormal and the ungodly,” he said.
The minister’s remarks have been criticized by the “Stonewall” campaigners for gay rights, the organizers of the Equality parade. Their spokesperson called the comments “scandalous and irresponsible.” He also said that he would have expected the minister to criticize the counter-demonstrators from right-wing groups who tried to block the marchers from the equality parade. The remarks have also been criticized by opposition politicians as examples of “hate speech” and “homophobia.” Mr Błaszczak has also been accused by one opposition MP of using the “language of [Vladimir] Putin.” The Kremlin has banned all references and manifestations of gay culture.
This was the 15th edition of the pro-gay rights march in Poznań. It has been attended regularly by the current Mayor of Poznań Jacek Jaśkowiak from the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party who this year honored it with his patronage.
source: TV Republika, Gazeta.pl
The minister took no prisoners in terms of political correctness. He spoke to the core electorate of the ruling party. An electorate steeped in traditional Catholic values that sees homosexuality as a sin and takes a dim view of promoting homosexuality with public funds and displays of the rainbow flag.
The minister will also have spoken for many when he criticized the city authorities in Poznań for engaging in such ideological initiatives rather than concentrating on traditional local government functions such as the provision of local services.
The language used by Mr Błaszczak, even though biblical, was also judgmental. And such judgments are bound to cause offense to those whom they label. For many they will come as being uncomfortably close to encouraging hate, even if they were not so intended.
In Poland, still traditional and Catholic, promoting gay rights is bound to cause a reaction. The imagery used by the pro-gay demonstrators is seen as provocative and offensive to many.
Both sides have a right to be heard. But maybe both need to watch the language and imagery they use in the debate.