By Olivier Bault.
Poland – In Poland, as elsewhere, the months of May and June are the season of “Equality Parades”, as they are still called in the homeland of Saint John Paul II. These marches are free of the obscene behaviour that can be seen on the “Pride Marches” typical of Western European capitals. The time has not yet come for such behaviour to be exhibited on the streets of Poland, but the Polish “Equality Marches” have this year seen several desecrations committed against the Catholic faith. Indeed, with approximately 92% of Poles being baptised in the Catholic Church, of whom 38%, according to the latest figures, attend mass every Sunday, the Church is the first designated enemy for the offensive of the LGBT lobby in Poland. It is therefore no coincidence that the Shrine of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa was targeted for the second consecutive year as the goal of an “Equality March” flying the colours of the LGBT rainbow. Adding to the provocation, the event was planned for June 16, the same day that the conservative Catholic Radio Maryja was organising a pilgrimage of children who were to gather from all over Poland to pray in front of the miraculous icon of the Black Virgin. For the second year in a row, counter-demonstrators, including some linked to nationalist circles and others who were simply Catholics or patriots, stood on the way to the sanctuary against the two or three hundred LGBT demonstrators, including a few individuals who were wearing costumes overtly making fun of the Catholic clergy. Images reproducing the holy icon of the Black Virgin, but with the halo repainted with the six-colour LGBT rainbow, were sighted that day on the “Equality March” in Częstochowa, as in Warsaw and Gdańsk previously. It was the city’s mayor, a member of the social-democratic, post-communist SLD party, who had curiously authorised a gay protest in the same place and at the same time as a children’s pilgrimage.
The march to the sanctuary of Częstochowa blocked by counter-demonstrators.
Earlier, on May 25 in Gdańsk, the “Equality Parade” opened by the liberal mayor Aleksandra Dulkiewicz was the stage for a parody of a procession of the Blessed Sacrament. And then on June 8 in Warsaw, the “Equality Parade” took place under the patronage of the liberal mayor Rafał Trzaskowski from Civic Platform (PO), whose deputy Paweł Rabiej (of the liberal Nowoczesna party) was publicly reproached before the European elections for admitting too early that their real purpose was not to obtain the civil unions advocated by the liberal opposition, but full marriage and adoption rights for homosexuals. The Warsaw parade provided the occasion for a parody of a Catholic mass staged by a group of LGBT activists. SLD, PO and Nowoczesna were all part of the European Coalition which fought the May 26 European elections, coming second only to the United Right coalition led by Law and Justice (PiS). Former president Lech Wałęsa, who supports the liberal opposition, said after their shared defeat: “We have lost because of those perverts.” The PSL agrarian party, whose rural electorate is largely conservative, has for this reason left the European Coalition following the May 26 defeat and has formed its own “Polish coalition” in preparation for the parliamentary elections which will take place in October.
The support given today in unison by the liberal and post-communist opposition to gay marches and the claims of the LGBT lobby in Poland is a new phenomenon. Another is the massive support given to such marches – despite the anti-Catholic outrages and expressions of hatred – by Western multinational corporations, which were present in much higher numbers this year, treating Poland as a target of cultural colonisation. Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, IBM, Nielsen, Universal and its Ben&Jerry’s ice-cream brand, Citibank, JP Morgan, MTV, Netflix and BNP Paribas were among such multinationals at Warsaw’s latest Gay Pride.
Some foreign embassies were also among those expressing their official support, including the UK and US embassies and also that of Norway, which boasted about its country’s yearly financial support for the Warsaw Equality Parade with the Norwegian funds paid to Poland as part of the EU cohesion policy, in which Norway participates as a member of the European Economic Area.
A demonstrator at the “Equality Parade” in Warsaw: “The old b… who vote for PiS will eventually die, and in the end power will fall into the hands of normal people.”
The risk for the liberal opposition, having chosen the “European” camp (a qualifier understood as meaning necessarily “progressive”) to face Polish Catholic “obscurantism”, is that it could make it permanently unable to win power back from PiS, since a majority of Poles do not identify with the subversive claims of the LGBT lobby. Those claims are actually regarded by many in Poland as an attempt to impose upon their country a new neo-Marxist totalitarianism, years after the fall of the former communist totalitarianism. The European election result, and recent polls which are very favourable to the Law and Justice party, should indeed encourage liberals, and in particular the formerly self-declared Christian democrats from Civic Platform, to reflect on the consequences of their increasing left-wing radicalism.
The archbishop of Częstochowa said after the LGBT march had been blocked in front of the Shrine of the Black Virgin that we were witnessing “the confrontation of those who have rejected God with the Christian civilisation”. And he said to such progressives: “We will not accept the desecration, the mockery against God, we will not accept the social hatred that those who are not only the enemies of the Church but also the enemies of Poland want to sow.” In this way, the offensive of the LGBT lobby, which is marginal in numbers but benefits from powerful support, is deepening the divide within Polish society between pro-European progressive liberals and conservative patriots. Thus, for example, the windsurfing world champion and Olympic medallist ZofiaKlepacka has been the subject of violent verbal attacks since she tweeted, reacting to the “LGBT+ Charter” signed by the Mayor of Warsaw in February, that this was not the kind of Warsaw for which her grandfather had fought in the Warsaw Uprising of August–September 1944. More recently, Klepacka’s appearance in a music video featuring Christian rap against the “sins of Sodom” (identified with homosexuality and abortion) has infuriated progressive Polish media such as Gazeta Wyborcza, while in the conservative newspaper Do Rzeczy the journalist Rafał Ziemkiewicz came to her defence and attacked LGBT ideology, an “imported revolution” which he says is “as mad, as sick, and potentially also as criminal as Bolshevism and Nazism.”