Hague’s comments to BBC that PiS had changed its attitudes to gay rights
refuted in Warsaw
LONDON, July 7, 2009 – The recent statement by William Hague, a former leader of the British Conservatives, that his party’s new political allies in the European Parliament, the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS) had moderated their views on gays and gay rights has been dismissed in Poland.
The Polish PiS party had “changed their attitudes to gay rights”, Mr. Hague insisted to the BBC last month.
Speaking to the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita at the weekend, PiS MEP Konrad Szymanski said that his party’s policies have not changed.
So, what is the likelihood of an apology to Polish gays from the PiS for their anti-gay policies when they were in power, like current party leader David Cameron did to British gays last week for the policies introduced during the Thatcher years, especially ‘Section 28’?
“We won’t apologise because there is nothing to apologise for,” he told Rzeczpospolita. “Of course personally I don't have to agree with [David Cameron]. PiS holds the view that homosexuality should not be promoted in schools.
“From what I know, many British Conservatives don’t agree with him on this either.”
And with campaigning for the forthcoming UK general election, which has to be held before the beginning on May next year, being wound up a notch, the remarks from the PiS will not go down too well at Tory HQ.
But as Labour, or for that matters the Liberal Democrats, might well say in their ‘pitch’ for the ‘pink vote’, “ … and that is not all.”
There is the matter of same-sex marriage/partnerships/unions, not to mention adoption by gays. Cameron is comfortable with the UK legislation already in place.
So that leads to the question of the policy in this area of the new right-wing Euro-sceptic political grouping, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group – as yet Brussels has not dreamed-up an official abbreviation.
“ We have already agreed that in these matters we will each keep to our own convictions,” Mr. Szymanski pointed out in the newspaper interview, conducted by Jaroslaw Strozyk.
“Law and Justice has a clear stand on this issue – we are against both homosexual marriages and the adoption of children by gays and lesbians. That is how our Euro MEPs will always vote.
“If some Tories happen to have a different view on this, then this grouping will not be voting unanimously on these issues.....”
A split already? And the first plenary session of the new Parliament has yet to be held.
No doubt the next few days will bring some ‘spin’ from the doctors at Tory HQ, not to mention from their damage control department.
One piece of spin that is bound to be regurgitated is that both Labour and Liberal Democrats have some equally “strange” MEPs within their midsts – and that is certainly true. But is only a few in each of the PSE (Labour) and ALDE (Liberal Democrat). In the case of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Polish PiS members account for 15 of the group’s current roster of 55 MEPs – or 28%.
A leopard, it is said, never changes its spots. And as any gay in Poland will tell you, PiS is the party of Polish President Lech Kaczyński who, when mayor of Warsaw banned Gay Pride parades and, notoriously, in 2006 used party funds to purchase the building that housed Warsaw’s famed Le Madam gay/arts club in order to close it, causing a stand-off when protesters staged a sit-in.
There promises to be an interesting five years ahead in Brussels.
UK Tories Take the PiS in
New Euro Political Group of Anti-Gay, Racist Parties .
After a few years of rumours and a year of speculation following
David Cameron’s announcement that he was pulling his MEPs out of the
centre-right EPP-ED group, the British Conservatives have jumped into the
European Parliament “bed” with two other major Eastern European right wing
parties. (UK Gay News, June 22, 2009)
. It is now official. After a few years of rumours and a year of speculation following David Cameron’s announcement that he was pulling his MEPs out of the centre-right EPP-ED group, the British Conservatives have jumped into the European Parliament “bed” with two other major Eastern European right wing parties. (UK Gay News, June 22, 2009)