Intergroup writes to Polish MP on homophobic remarks

Update: Read the response letter from the Polish Ombudsman

To: Stanisław Pięta MP

Cc: Jan Tombiński, Permanent Representative of Poland to the EU;
The Polish Ombudsman;
Kampania Przeciw Homofobii

Concerns: Remarks on art exhibition at the National Museum

Brussels, 24th February 2010

Right Honourable Stanisław Pięta,

European ParliamentMembers of the Polish civil society have drawn our attention to your parliamentary speech (interpellation ref. SPS-023-12370/09) on the nature of exhibitions displayed at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Joining reactions from members of the public, non-governmental organisations and the Polish Ombudsman, our assessment is that if free speech is the cornerstone of democracy, hate speech emanating from an elected official is equally damaging to a free and democratic society.

Likening homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism to zoophilia, necrophilia and paedophilia is at best misinformation from another era, and at worst the blatant discrimination of a minority by a national parliamentarian.

Poland, like all EU countries, has subscribed to a community of values that proscribes discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. The respect of these values must start from within national democratic institutions, such as the Polish Parliament.

On behalf of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights,

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president