Homophobia seeps across new EU


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Daniel McLaughlin in Warsaw

He has been attacked by skinheads and threatened by police, and Szymon Niemiec sees life in Poland getting even tougher. 'For gays and lesbians, today's Poland is like 1930s Germany,' he says. 'We are ruled by a fascist party, which uses the same language and ideas as Hitler.'
As a prominent gay rights campaigner, Niemiec, 25, has long been a target for extremist groups, but since the election of the Law and Justice party last November he has felt a new wave of prejudice coursing through deeply Catholic, conservative Poland.
'The police even visited my home,' he says. 'And they told me they were ready to do what they did in 1985, when hundreds of gays and lesbians were rounded up and interrogated by the Communist police.' Law and Justice (PiS) came to power promising to purge the EU's largest new member of corruption, cronyism and disparities of wealth that have sent the Warsaw skyline soaring, while the elderly struggle and unemployment nears 20 per cent.
But many see a dark side to the party's 'moral revolution' and the rhetoric of other social conservatives challenging for power across central Europe.
Human Rights Watch has accused President Lech Kaczynski of presiding over 'official homophobia' in Poland - as mayor of Warsaw he banned gay parades and said he was 'not willing to meet perverts' when asked to talk to its organisers.
His twin brother, Jaroslaw, the leader of PiS, has said gay people should not teach in schools, while Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz has called homosexuality an 'unnatural' thing that the state must prevent from 'infecting' the general public.
'These are Catholic fundamentalists,' says Tomasz Szypula, of Poland's Campaign Against Homophobia. 'One of the first things they did after taking power was abolish the government office for gender equality, which dealt with all forms of prejudice here.'
It also helped fund minority rights groups and was the kind of anti-discrimination body that the EU demands in all member states. Critics say its abolition exemplified the government's scorn for Brussels.
'Some of the new EU members signed up to decrees to get into the EU but now treat them like an à la carte menu on which they can ignore what they don't like,' says Michael Cashman, Labour MEP for the West Midlands.
Events in Poland and moves to ban gay marriage in Latvia and Lithuania prompted the European Parliament to pass a resolution against homophobia in January.
Only six of 54 Polish MEPs backed the motion, and the EU will struggle to match the Catholic Church's influence on Poland's new government.

abolish- znosić, obalać
abolition- zniesienie, obalenie
course through- lać się, ściekać
cronyism- faworyzowanie kolegów
decree- dekret, rozporządzenie
disparity- różnica, rozbieżność, nierówność
exemplify- ilustrować, dawać przykład
infect- zarażać, skazić
interrogate- przesłuchiwać
prejudice- uprzedzenie, przesąd
prominent- znaczący
purge- oczyszczać, eliminować
rhetoric- retoryka
scorn- pogarda
seep across- sączyć się
target- cel


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