Pieter, Polish news still write about this march in Bialystok, since it is a part of the bible belt in Poland and majority of the people living there are very conservative, On the other hand there are many minorities nearby - Belarussians, Luthianian:
Probably these Belarussian and Luthianian minorities in Bialystok are as conservative as the Poles of Eastern-Poland. Polish family, who belong to the developed, university education, Polish elites of Warsaw and Poznan, looked and look at Eastern Poland as backward, less developed and more simple minded people. They view it as rural peasent country close to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. In that view Western-Poland, Central-Poland and Southern Poland is more developed and enlightened due to the influences of Prussia, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary (that ruled Slovakia and parts of Western-Ukraine for centuries) and the Italian architects, painters, sculpturists and advisors of Polish kings and magnates. Maybe that is bad stereoptypical thinking, but in that thought the Eastern-Slav, Orthodox Christian culture and the influence on the Eastern-Poland Roman Catholics that were occupied by the Russians, and influenced by Belarussian and Ukrainian neighbours, created that mindset in the Western thinking of my Polish family. The funny fact is that half of that family themselves came from the Eastern part of Poland and the Baltic state of Estonia. But they resettled in Warsaw and got the Western-Polish mindset. Indeed my Polish family in Poznań had the German Prussian Posen influence.
To be honest I have to say that part of the Polish family and Polish friends and acqaintances today are rather Nationalist, archconservative, Fundamentalist Roman-Catholic, anti-immigrant, homophobic and xenophobic. I talked with a Polish woman in Poland who considered the Roman-Catholic church as the only true christian church, and the Protestants and Orthodox christians as heretics. I considered her to be quite intolerant, brainwashed, stubborn and extremely Nationalistic. But that is the way it is. It was interesting to hear her opinion and how it contrasted with the views of other Poles that I know and knew. This woman was a Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, Jarosław Kaczyński and Lech Kaczyński (it was before the plane accident in 2010) supporter and she read the conservative Rzeczpospolita newspaper. And she made it clear that she would never read the liberal Gazeta Wyborcza. She told me that the Dutch are anti-Polish and have anti-Polish secular propaganda, and that she rejected the Dutch legalisation of the Gay Marriage, Abortion and Euthanasia. Everything in my liberal and secular country was wrong in her eyes. With anger and fury in her voice she said, we will never accept such reprehensible, disgusting and sinful and evil acts like your Amsterdam Gay Parade and Propaganda of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer lifestyles. That decadent and hedonist (Sodom and Gomorrah) acts and performances should be never allowed in Poland in her point of view.
This woman had a narrow minded, anti-Western, Ultra-Catholic, Polish Peoples nationalist, reactionary, nativist, Identitarian, Rightwing Populist, National conservative, anti-German, anti-Russian, anti-Baltic, anti-Ukrainian, anti-semitic, Islamophobe, racist, ethnocentric, Isolationalist, Xenophobe, Endecja (National democratic) point of view. Her dislike of Germans, Russians, jews, Muslims, Protestant christians, atheists, leftwingers (she called the head quarters of the SLD near her house in Warsaw the seat of the Devil) was clear. She was a Prawo i Sprawiedliwość supporter, and I know now that her political views and attituded are similar to that of the aggressive and violent anti-Gay parade demonstrators in Bialystok.
I prefer to see one Poland, but fact is that differences exist, between more liberal and progressive parts of Poland and the more conservative and in some cases reactionary, archconservative, Nationalist and maybe fundamentalist bible belt Catholic parts of Poland. In other Slavic countries you saw violent religious, nationalist and conservative reactions to Gay Parades too.
Comment Pieter: I don't see the Eastern-Slavic Orthodox christian peoples, cultures and nations as more primitive than the Western nations. It is a fact that in the fields of materialistic, financial economical and cultural sectors there are differences. But I see great values in their spirituality, and quality in their culture and community life. The latter is not so different than the lives of Polish Roman Catholics in my point of view. There are linguistic, cultural and liturgical differences, but both the Western slavic and the Eastern Slavic peoples are christians. And both have their ethnic and religious minorities that live with them.
Pieter, I am not sure whether these people who support LGBT in such an open way do favor or disfavor to anti-PIS movement. You cannot force people to believe in something they did not believe for their whole life.
I do believe that these people who support LGBT in such an open way mostly favor anti-PIS party political parties and movements like Unia Pracy, Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej (SLD), Razem, Partia Zieloni, Inicjatywa Feministyczna and Twój Ruch. I agree with you that you cannot force people to believe in something they did not believe for their whole life. Fact stays that conservatives from any religion have problems with homosexuality. In Jerusalem Orthodox Jews, Muslims and christians for one day forgot their differences and together opposed the Gay parade there.
Feminists who participated in the Białystok Gay Pride are shocked about the aggressive counter demonstration
Robert Biedroń (Polish pronunciation: [ˈrɔbɛrt ˈbjedrɔɲ]; born 13 April 1976) is a Polish LGBT activist, former mayor of Słupsk and politician. He was previously a member of the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland party and the Democratic Left Alliance. Formerly a member of the Sejm and the mayor of Słupsk, he launched a new political party, called Spring in February 2019, and was elected a Member of the European Parliament on his party's list on 26 May 2019. He also serves on the board of the Polish Campaign Against Homophobia.
Anna Grodzka and Robert Biedroń, transgender and Gay parliamentarians of Twój Ruch
Former Mayor of Slupsk Robert Biedron (C) during the founding convention of his political party 'Wiosna' (Spring) in Warsaw, Poland, 3 February 2019. [Jakub Kaminski/EPA/EFE]
Dutch D66 EU parliamentarian
Sophia Helena "Sophie" in 't Veld (born 13 September 1963) is a Dutch politician of the Democrats 66 party. She was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2004, and reelected in 2009 and 2014. She was her party's top candidate for the three elections and has been its leader in the European Parliament since her first election.
In a 2014 survey, conducted by CBOS for Dr. Natalia Zimniewicz, 30% of Poles wanted a ban on public promotion of gay content, and 17.3% would not support that ban, but would want another form of limiting the freedom of promotion of such information.
52.5% thought that the current scale of promotion of gay content is excessive, 27.9% thought that pictures of gay parades or practices disgust them, 22.3% thought that the media blur the true image of homosexuality and 29.3% thought that gay content is not a private matter of the homosexual community, but affect children and other citizens.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Poland face legal challenges not faced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Poland. This was formally codified in 1932, and Poland introduced an equal age of consent for homosexuals and heterosexuals, which was set at 15. Poland provides LGBT people with the same rights as heterosexuals in certain areas: gay and bisexual men are allowed to donate blood, gays and bisexuals are allowed to serve openly in the Polish Armed Forces, and transgender people are allowed to change their legal gender following certain requirements including undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Polish law bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. No protections for education, health services, hate crimes and hate speech exist, however. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that it is illegal to deny goods and services on the basis of sexual orientation.
Polish society tends to be socially conservative with issues dealing with LGBT rights. A majority of the Polish population affiliate with the Catholic Church. As such, Catholic mores strongly influence public perception and tolerance of the LGBT community. Article 18 of the Polish Constitution states that "Marriage, as a union of a man and a woman [...] shall be placed under the protection and care of the Republic of Poland." This has led to different interpretations by individual lawyers as well as legal cases over whether or not the Constitution prohibits same-sex marriages. According to the dominant interpretation, this article bans same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court, the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Administrative Court have ruled that Article 18 of the Constitution limits the institution of marriage to opposite-sex couples and thus marital rights for same-sex couples are not recognized nor endorsed in constitutional law. As such, any attempt to legalize same-sex marriage without an amendment to the Constitution would be unconstitutional in Poland. In January 2019, howewer, an administrative court in Warsaw ruled that the Polish Constitution does not explicitly ban same-sex marriage, but since the Warsaw Administrative Court does not possess the same level of authority regarding constitutional matters as the Supreme Administrative Court, the Constitutional Tribunal or the Supreme Court, it is not expected to meaningfully alter said constitutional provision. Poland does not recognise civil unions either, though discussion on this issue is ongoing.
Nevertheless, attitudes are evolving and becoming more accepting, in line with worldwide trends. In 2011, Anna Grodzka became the third transgender member of parliament in the world, following Georgina Beyer of New Zealand and Vladimir Luxuria of Italy. Additionally, in 2014, gay activist Robert Biedroń was elected the Mayor of Słupsk. Acceptance for LGBT people in Polish society increased in the 1990s and early 2000s, mainly amongst younger people and those living in larger cities such as Warsaw and Kraków. There is a visible gay scene with clubs all around the country, most of them located in the large urban areas. There are also several gay rights organizations, the two biggest ones being Campaign Against Homophobia and Lambda Warszawa. Opinion polls have shown that a majority of Poles now support civil unions for same-sex couples, limited legal rights such as inheritance and the right to make medical decisions, as well as the recognition of foreign same-sex marriages.
Many left-wing political parties, namely the Democratic Left Alliance, Labour United, the Social Democracy Party, Your Movement, Modern, Together and Spring, have expressed support for the gay rights movement. Individual voices of support can also be found in the centre-right Civic Platform.
Feminist views on sexuality vary, and have differed by historical period and by cultural context. Feminist attitudes to female sexuality have taken a few different directions. Matters such as the sex industry, sexual representation in the media, and issues regarding consent to sex under conditions of male dominance have been particularly controversial among feminists. This debate has culminated in the late 1970s and the 1980s, in what came to be known as the feminist sex wars, which pitted anti-pornography feminism against sex-positive feminism, and parts of the feminist movement were deeply divided by these debates Feminists have taken a variety of positions on different aspects of the sexual revolution from the 1960s and 70s. Over the course of the 1970s, a large number of influential women accepted lesbian and bisexual women as part of feminism.