Polish parliament debates anti-LGBT legislative proposal

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10/29/2021

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish lawmakers held an emotional debate Thursday on proposed legislation dubbed “Stop LGBT,” which would ban pride parades and other public gatherings deemed to “promote” same-sex relationships. The lawmakers are due to vote Friday on whether to reject or continue work on the proposal, which is a citizen’s legislative initiative that was submitted to parliament by conservative activists. One of the activists who presented the bill, Krzysztof Kasprzak, opened his speech to lawmakers by describing the LGBT rights movement as a form of totalitarianism. He compared it to Nazism, and accused it of seeking “to overthrow the natural order and introduce terror.” Włodzimierz Czarzasty, a left-wing deputy speaker of parliament, called it the “most disgusting speech” he had heard in his time in parliament. A string of opposition lawmakers — on the left, center and even from a conservative group — denounced the proposed legislation as inhumane, homophobic or a violation of the right to assembly guaranteed in Poland’s constitution. It got the praise of lawmakers on the far right, while Piotr Kaleta, a lawmaker with the ruling right-wing conservative party, Law and Justice, held up photos allegedly showing scenes from pride parades that he described as shocking. “We want normality in Poland,” Kaleta said. “If you accuse us of being in the Middle Ages, then we want to be in these Middle Ages.” It was not clear if the proposal had the backing to move forward.

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