Warsaw Mayor: no regrets over backing LGBT parade

Rafał Trzaskowski declares that he has no regrets about his backing for the “Equality Parade”, a LGBT-rights focused event that took place in Warsaw last Saturday.

The Mayor of Warsaw promised when being elected that he would attend the “Equality Parade” an annual LGBT rights event. As promised he was there on Saturday.

The event attracted a large crowd on Saturday. The event was peaceful and went ahead without any disruption. But there was a controversial incident during it. It involved an LGBT mass performed by someone who declares himself as head of a church that is reportedly not registered in Poland.

Interviewed on commercial radio ZET Mayor Trzaskowski said he had no regrets about being the patron of the Equality Parade and about taking part in it. He distanced himself however from the LGBT mass, saying that a parade is no place for a mass to be conducted and that “if we demand respect for minorities, then respect is also owed to religious sensitivities other people have”.

He would not be drawn into condemning it as blasphemy.

March for Family and Life

A march in support of families and the right to life and against sex education for small children took place on Sunday in Warsaw. Mr Trzaskowski was asked during the radio interview why he did not accept the invitation to participate in it.

He confirmed the response he had made to that invitation. “Families don’t need protection from right-wing hypocrites”. He went on to explain that “families in Poland are protected” by the constitution and general social acceptance, and that it was a source of irritation to him seeing right-wing politicians from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) pretending that it was otherwise.

The march in question, however, was not a political event. It was organised by a civil society organisation and was a demonstration of commitment to Catholicism and traditional values of that religion. Nevertheless, the Warsaw Mayor defended his decision not to attend by arguing that “it is minorities, people with disabilities or a different skin colour or teachers and the old who need defending against being marginalised by the ruling party.”

Comment

Mayor Trzaskowski makes clear that he believes that politicians should stand in solidarity with minorities facing discrimination or disadvantage and sees not need for him to participate in events which support widely accepted traditional views and values.

Some on the left will point that he and his party have not always supported those who are disadvantaged or discriminated against. There was little support given to tenants being cleared out of properties that had been seized during the restitution scandal in Warsaw. Its also hard to remember PO politicians supporting any protests by small farmers or workers in factories that have been closed.

The reality is that politicians stand alongside those whose votes they are seeking. The current ruling party has introduced pro-family policies and redistributed incomes. So you will find them on pro-family marches.

The party to which Mr Trzaskowski belongs is in competition for the votes of the gay community with Mr Biedroń’s Spring. So you will find him supporting the Equality Parade in Warsaw.

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