Former Polish FinMin called out in UK over ‘homophobia’ comments

Jan Vincent Rostowski, also known as Jacek Rostowski, standing for “Change UK” in the European elections in Britain, has been criticized in the British media for comments he made in 2011 and 2013.

Mr Rostowski in an interview with the Polish daily “Gazeta Wyborcza” in 2011 is reported to have opposed introducing civil partnerships in Poland and said that “a stable society is based on heterosexual relations”. In another interview in 2013, he said that when he was young and living in the UK “people went to prison for homosexual relations. Today, gay couples there adopt children. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s a slippery slope.”

Mr Rostowski’s remarks were criticized by well-known British commentator for The Guardian Owen Jones.

But Buzzfeed’s senior political correspondent Alex Wickham says that Rostowski has since changed his mind. Certainly the party Mr Rostowski was associated with in Poland, the Civic Platform (PO), is under huge pressure to move on LGBT issues. It has now come out in favour of civil partnerships and also anti-discrimination education on such issues in schools. Social conservatives have been marginalized within the party and its relations with the Catholic Church, once highly cordial, have deteriorated markedly. The PO is under electoral pressure from Mr Biedroń’s socially liberal “Spring” and has shifted its position to woo his electorate.

It is still not clear whether Britain will vote in the European elections on 23 May. If Parliament approves the agreement on British withdrawal from the EU, the election will be cancelled in the UK. Change UK is a party set up by MPs who left the Labour and Conservative parties. Its poll ratings are running below ten percent.