Poland Responds to Gay Pride

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Since the European Union elections in May, Poland has entered a summer marching season. More precisely, there are traditional religious processions, on the one hand, and LGBT “pride” parades on the other. The former boast millions of participants, in particular, the nationwide Corpus Christi holiday held in every parish; the latter attract thousands and, usually, just as many counter-protesters. This passion play unfolds within the context of the Sexual Revolution’s ongoing assault on Poland.

It is all too familiar for an American: the in-your-face tactics of the grassroots LGBT activists; the operational gay friendliness of the judges; ideological support by the leftist media; and generous sponsorship by progressive philanthropists. However, there are also important differences between Poland and America.

The triumph of the LGBT cause in the United States came as the result of a long march that in itself was a major campaign of deception. It morphed from a proposition that one’s sexual orientation was biologically determined and, thus, unmalleable, to a claim that it was culturally determined. “Gender fluidity” made it possible to be heterosexual of either sex at any time with the option to change to anything at all in the wild spectrum of polyamory.

Initially, of course, no one talked about gay “marriages” or other special privileges. “Equal rights” was supposed to mean “live and let live.” LGBT folks claimed to only want toleration. Gay activists rode the coattails of the radical feminists who had hooked their caboose to the black civil rights train. They incredibly posited that racial and sexual identities were identical and should be treated equally. Opposition to “sexual citizenship” was as offensive as racism and sexism. The incrementalism and blackmail worked. Hardly anyone could have predicted that the heterosexual majority would willingly approve such a heterodox sexual orientation. However, it took decades for public opinion to change in the United States.

 

In Poland, the LGBT activists are impatient; the post-Communist positive law courts are brazen in their approval of sexual license; and foreign sponsors from the European Union, United Nations, United States, and elsewhere show their contempt for Polish Catholics and their faith. So far, the regular folks in Poland will have none of it. They know what happened in America, and they refuse to allow it to happen to their country. The Catholic bishops seem to support their flock. And some conservative politicians will not defy their Catholic constituents. The Polish right is not united, however.

The conservative-populist Law and Justice (PiS) national administration largely stands on the sidelines. It is cautious to appear not to violate the Polish constitution or the pro-gay regulations of the European Union. But it has not discouraged individual politicians and their supporters from defending traditional Polish values. The liberal opposition led by Civic Platform (PO) has now fully embraced the LGBT agenda because it had no previous position and because it brings accolades from abroad.

In practice, some municipal governments have become solicitous of Western backing so that all major cities, controlled by the liberal opposition, openly support “pride” parades and LGBT rights. Some of them exert themselves so radically and ostentatiously not only to spite the Catholic Church and the faithful but also to stick it to Poland’s national government. The liberals thus can brand the conservatives as “homophobic” to loud applause from the EU. Their extremism does not end there. For example, the liberals roared with approval when LGBT activists desecrated the icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa by printing posters of it with a rainbow flag as its background and duplicating it in a multitude of Warholian styles just before the last EU elections in late May 2019.

In June, local LGBT activists and their liberal enablers struck again. Imitating their Western counterparts, the gay and feminist tribes on the Vistula marched proudly. Cumulatively, fewer than five thousand—if that—materialized in a number of large cities throughout the nation. The most numerous LGBT contingent, estimated between high hundreds and low thousands, showed up in Warsaw. Some were foreigners.

A number of Western missions to Poland participated officially, including the U.S. Embassy which even bedecked its building with rainbow flags, despite instructions from Washington to the contrary. Most foreigners came to boost the local gay community. But Israeli diplomats took part for the first time this year. There were also sex tourists from abroad, particularly from Germany. Most came on organized tours to boost the numbers, show solidarity, and, thus, embolden the local adherents of LGBT. Everywhere the participants chanted anti-Christian slogans.

In Warsaw and Gdańsk, they mocked Catholicism by celebrating a parody “mass” complete with a rainbow-bedecked “altar,” a self-proclaimed LGBT “bishop,” and an “altar boy” attendant wearing a kitchen strainer on his head. They planned a similar sacrilege for Poznań, dubbing it, of course, “an ecumenical mass.” This took place within a city taxpayer-funded, weeklong “LGBT festival” complete with a transgender reading for children at a local public library.  The liberal Polish and Western media amplified the message.

In Częstochowa, gay radicals attempted to storm the monastery and the Holy Shrine of Bright Mountain. They held aloft the “Gay Rainbow Madonna” to provoke Catholics. However, the LGBT marchers were stopped cold in their tracks by the faithful backed by Christian nationalist activists of the All Polish Youth, the National Radical Camp, and others. LGBT adherents insidiously pushed to infiltrate the rally of the Children’s Rosary Circles Pilgrimage that was celebrating Mass simultaneously by the Shrine of Our Lady. But the Catholic counter-marchers blocked the gay demonstrators. No desecration took place.

Lacking success on the street, the “Prides” turn into weeklong, taxpayer-subsidized “cultural festivals” in places like Poznań, where one can learn how to be a drag queen, about the joys of gay sex, and, of course, “tolerance” for the sexual revolutionaries who seek to destroy Christian tradition.

Meanwhile, regular folks in Poland responded with “Marches for the Family.” A day after the LGBT squad was done prancing in the capital city, over 200,000 people marched with their children in about 100 Polish localities. Forty thousand marched in Warsaw, and 20,000 in Gdańsk. They were not done. On June 20, 2019, millions poured out into the streets of villages, towns, and major cities throughout Poland to march, pray, and cheer. The result was overwhelming, yet the media, predictably, failed to notice.

And Poland’s faithful are not done. The “Marches for the Family” and the “Marches for Life” have continued. For example, up to 3,000 people celebrated life with a Mass in Rzeszów in the southeastern part of the country on June 23. Then they walked through town to an open-air picnic. They chanted that “sex education is an abomination,” sang songs like “Find a girl, start a family,” and waved banners such as “Abortion = killing” and “Invest in a family.”

In Białystok, a half dozen Catholic, conservative, and civic initiatives attempted to block a scheduled “Pride” march by applying to hold their own marches. Permission has been granted but they are required to stay 100 yards away from the LGBT event. We will know the result of the rivalry at the end of July.

These are genuinely grassroots initiatives. But the faithful enjoy the backing of many shepherds. For the most part, the Catholic episcopate fully and loudly approves. Thus, Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda of Białystok pronounced his “non possumus” (i.e., “we cannot”) against the LGBT show. Moreover, the episcopate openly sided with an employee of the Polish branch of IKEA who was fired for exercising his freedom of conscience. Namely, he objected to obligatory LGBT indoctrination at work.

When the faithful act and the bishops support them, mainstream politicians also become emboldened. For example, the mayor of Kielce called off his city’s “Pride” march. Predictably, gay activists objected. A court stepped in and nullified his order as unconstitutional. The mayor vows to appeal. But all is not bleak even in post-Communist courts. For example, the Constitutional Tribunal, Poland’s highest court, has just ruled that it was unconstitutional to sentence a printer to jail for alleged discrimination when he refused to print an LGBT poster in 2015. The Tribunal stressed that the Communist-era law invoked to find the printer guilty violated the freedom of conscience clause of the Constitution of Poland. This victory was possible because of the stellar work by Ordo Iuris, a conservative Catholic legal outfit related to Tradition, Family, and Property.

Victories on the intellectual front and in the legal field are possible because the common Catholic folk still care. They participate in holy processions and they countermarch.

Thus, because of her still robust Catholicism, Poland’s “pride” parades remain freak shows fueled largely by foreign money, know-how, propaganda, experts, and other forms of support. This is also the case elsewhere in the Intermarium—i.e., between the Black, Baltic, and Adriatic Seas—or the old post-Soviet zone.

Editor’s note: Pictured above, people take part in the Baltic gay pride parade on June 8, 2019, on the streets of the Polish capital, Warsaw. (Photo credit: Janek Skarzynski /AFP/Getty Images)

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz

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Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is Professor of History and holds the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC.

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