Polish capital bans Pride again
Ben Townley, Gay.com U.K.
A gay rights parade in Warsaw has been banned by the city's mayor for a second year, angering local lesbian and gay activists.
The parade, scheduled for June 11, was aiming to not only unite the LGBT community in the Polish city, but also to call for more acceptance.
However, the far-right Mayor Lech Kaczynski said the parade will clash with the unveiling of a statue in memory of a wartime resistance fighter.
He called for the parade to be blocked last year as well, arguing the event would lead to counterdemonstrations.
The mayor said that he was within his rights to block the parade, telling the PAP news agency that to hold it on a commemorative day would be "a joke."
"I am for tolerance, but am against propagating gay orientation," he reportedly said.
Warsaw is not the only Polish city to block gay events. Last year, Krakow officials clashed with gay marchers after they held a rally on a Catholic holiday. The marchers were pelted with eggs and stones during the procession, which they said was highlighting the tensions between gay communities and the staunchly Catholic mainstream.
The country's main lesbian and gay campaigning group called for more help from the European Union to combat the country's entrenched homophobia.
"It is time for pressure to be put on the Polish government and Polish discrimination," the Campaign Against Homophobia said in a statement at the time.
"We sincerely hope the European Union's ideas about integration are not merely empty words," the group added. "Poland should be held to a standard in respecting its citizens' rights. Poland's blatant disregard of the rights of some of its citizens is unacceptable and should not go unnoticed."