Robert Biedroń’s comment on President Duda dehumanising LGBT+ people has been reported to the state prosecutor for slander.
“The president of the republic dehumanises LGBT+ people and calls them ‘not humans’,” said Robert Biedron MEP a former Polish presidential candidate and mayor of Słupsk between 2014 and 2018.
“I remember from the schoolbooks that Jewish people (before World War Two) were dehumanised, they were called ‘not humans’, and to me these resemble those times,” Biedron told Reuters Thomson Foundation in an interview.
The Reuters text also refers to the case of “Margot” Szutowicz, a man arrested for assault and vandalising property of a pro-Life organisation.
“I keep fingers crossed for this generation,” Biedron said, adding that he supports Szutowicz’s campaigning tactics, which include not only violence and damage to property but also the covering of national monuments and religious symbols with rainbow coloured flags.
Prof. Przemysław Czarnek, a constitutional lawyer and ruling Law and Justice (PiS) MP slammed Mr Biedroń for his words on President Duda. He said that he has filed a complaint to the public prosecutor for slander against the head of state.
During his reelection campaign President Duda had argued at one of his rallies that LGBT was an ideology rather than a group of people. He justified that judgment by saying that the LGBT movement was an ideological one. He later clarified that he respected the right of LGBT people to live their lives in accordance with their wishes and was only criticising the ideological nature of the LGBT movement.
Mr Biedroń is campaigning for tolerance for the LGBT community. But he supports actions which are perceived as being highly intolerant. And he is using incendiary language linking the President to the Nazi movement.
It is highly debatable whether the tactics of offending people’s religious feelings or physically attacking the admittedly intolerant anti-LGBT campaigning of some pro-Life NGOs help to bring the LGBT cause any nearer being successful in Poland. They are rather aimed at getting a reaction which can then be used as ‘proof of intolerance’.
The strategy which both Mr Biedroń and LGBT activists are pursuing is to get the western media and international bodies such as the EU to put pressure on Poland to change its constitution. At present the Polish constitution prevents any possibility of same sex marriage and allows parents to block LGBT sex education in schools.
But attempting to use external powers to force Poles into line has a chequered history. The Soviets, for all their power, never managed to get Poland fully on board the communist project. And attempts to stamp out separate Polish identity by Russians and Prussians failed during the partition.
Since LGBT activists are saying that the ruling party is behaving like the Nazis they cannot be surprised that some will strike back by comparing them to Soviets. A consensus of any kind cannot be built on that kind of exchange.
Mr Biedroń himself needs to be careful with the language he uses. Accusing a sitting President of being like the Nazis may not only spell legal trouble. It also leaves him open to the charge of sour grapes from Mr Biedroń’s failed presidential bid.