- At one point last week, Orzechowski said on the radio that "Teachers who reveal their homosexuality will be fired. That type of person is not fit to work with children"
- Later he back-tracked, saying the next day that "I was misquoted, I meant to say that those who come out and propagate homosexuality won't be allowed to teach". (He claims this even though the radio host replayed the recording TWICE with his statements)
- The Ministry's spokeswoman had to put out a statement covering his ass regarding his use of the term "deviants" to describe lgbt people. She says "He wasn't referring to people when using that term but to actions." (you have GOT to be joking)
- Prime Minister Kaczynski claims that he has gay friends and he's not a homophobe (and I guess the Pope isn't Catholic??). He says that "there isn't a problem with homophobia in Poland because it's not a Polish tradition."
All these can be found in the press we've been gathering and translating at http://kampania.wordpress.com/. My take on this: seems like the Govt is using LPR (the ultra-conservative party with like 2% support) to say all the nasty things they want to say but know they can't, politically, especially with the world watching. So they let them run their mouths and then say things like "Oh that crazy Giertych! Did he say he was going to imprison teachers who say that being gay isn't something to get electroshock therapy over?? Silly him! But while we're on the topic...it's not such a bad idea."
The bill might very well never reach approval or come to life. At this point though it doesn't seem to be their goal; they know that they are stoking the flames of intolerance and hatred towards gay people which is what they want to achieve. And that's enough to be reminded of the times when Giertych's own grandfather, Jedrzej Giertych was a leading activist of an anti-Semitic organization simiarly sowing the seeds of fear and hatred towards another minority in Poland.
Youth Group Protests!
A few years ago I set up the Youth Group of KPH. One of our first "actions" was to protest in front of all the embassies which still have the death penalty for homosexuality. A valiant effort it was, though none of the embassies even opened their door or so much as looked out their windows at our "street theatre". Some press did come out and we had a tiny picture in the Warsaw paper.
Today, however, the Youth Group did a splendid job in organizing a protest in front of the Ministry of Education, reading out a letter they wrote about their perspective as lgbt youth in Polish schools. Bottom line: the Minister of Ed is not fighting the "promotion of homosexuality" but rather "promoting hate" himself. There were about 15 of us, and tons of media, which is good. Together with a Human Rights Watch statement on the issue and letter to the President, we're getting better press.