More gay people not needed, P.M. says |

More gay people not needed, P.M. says

WARSAW, Poland ” Poland’s conservative prime minister rejected European Union criticism Thursday of a proposal to fire teachers for “homosexual propaganda,” saying it was not in the interest of society to have more gay people.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said homosexuals did not face discrimination in his country, responding to an EU parliament vote to send a mission to Poland to investigate recent anti-gay comments by senior officials.

“Nobody is limiting gay rights in Poland,” Kaczynski told reporters hours after the vote.

“However, if we’re talking about not having homosexual propaganda in Polish schools, I fully agree with those who feel this way,” he said. “Such propaganda should not be in schools; it definitely doesn’t serve youth well.”

“It’s not in the interest of any society to increase the number of homosexuals ” that’s obvious.”

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Last month, Deputy Education Minister Miroslaw Orzechowski said teachers deemed to be promoting “homosexual culture” in schools would be fired, and the ministry announced it would draw up corresponding legislation.

The ministry has not defined what it means by efforts to promote homosexuality and has yet to submit the legislation, according to the parliamentary press office.

The EU parliament called on Polish authorities to publicly condemn and take measures against declarations by officials “inciting discrimination and hatred based on sexual orientation.”

The assembly asked the EU’s anti-racism center in Vienna to look into “the emerging climate of racist, xenophobic and homophobic intolerance in Poland,” and to determine whether the bloc’s anti-discrimination rules were being violated.

The resolution ” sponsored by the Socialists, Liberals and Greens but largely opposed by conservative lawmakers ” was likely to strain EU-Poland relations further. Since joining the EU in 2004, Poland has clashed with the bloc on a variety of issues, from the environment to the economy.

The vast majority of Poland’s 38 million people are members of the Roman Catholic church, which considers homosexual behavior sinful. Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party, which won parliamentary elections in September 2005, has stressed Catholic values. The party governs with the small, right-wing League of Polish Families, which is militantly anti-abortion and anti-gay rights.

Robert Biedron, the head of Poland’s Campaign Against Homophobia, condemned Kaczynski’s statements, calling them “old homophobic comments, full of hatred and intolerance toward homosexuals.”

“It’s an old tune from this government,” he said.

During a visit to Germany earlier this year, Education Minister Roman Giertych, the leader of the League of Polish Families, said “one must limit homosexual propaganda so that children won’t have an improper view of family.”

Human Rights Watch has sent a letter to Kaczynski saying it fears the measure would bar safe sex education and lead to the expulsion or dropping out of gay students.

President Lech Kaczynksi ” the prime minister’s brother ” refused to grant parade permits for gay rights marches while he served as mayor of Warsaw, although a gathering was held anyway, in front of his office.

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