15 May 2007

Polish homophobia - Protest 17 May

Oppose Poland's version of Section 28

Protest to the Polish Ambassador

London – UK

Poland's new Education Bill includes a Section 28-style clause that
will outlaw any objective, factual or sympathetic mention of
homosexuality in schools. It is feared gay teachers may be sacked.

Protest
Thursday 17 May 2007
12 noon to 2pm
Polish Embassy, 47 Portland Place, London W1B 1JH (nearest tube Oxford Circus).

Everyone welcome.

If you cannot attend, email your protest to the Polish Embassy:
polishembassy@polishembassy.org.uk

Thursday's protest is one of a worldwide series of protests in over 50
countries to mark IDAHO – the International Day Against Homophobia, on
17 May 2007.

The London demo is organised by the British Youth Council, and is
supported by the LGBTI human rights group OutRage! and by IDAHO.

"We condemn rising homophobia in Poland and the increased persecution
of Poland's lesbian and gay citizens," said David Allison of OutRage!.

"Polish gays are experiencing both queer-bashing attacks by neo-Nazis
and government-orchestrated denunciations and discrimination.

"Poland's new Education Bill includes a Section 28-style clause that
will outlaw any objective, factual or sympathetic mention of
homosexuality in schools. It is feared gay teachers may be sacked,"
said Mr Allison.

Polish junior education Minister, Miroslaw Orzechowski, told a recent press
conference that the new law will: "punish whoever promotes
homosexuality or any other deviance of a sexual nature in educational
establishments."

Maeve McGoldrick (23), spokesperson for the protest organisers, the
British Youth Council, said:

"The UK has strong bi-lateral relations with Poland. We call on the UK
government to take action within the EU and the Council of Europe to
challenge Poland's anti-gay policies."

"Our embassy protest will be uniting with campaigners internationally
in a worldwide minute of noise, paying tribute to all those who have
suffered at the hands of homophobia," she said.

Derek Lennard, IDAHO UK Coordinator added:

"It is extremely important to stand up for the human rights of
victimised people in a neighbouring European country. We have to
ensure that the Polish lesbian and gay community is not discriminated
against by its government.

"We urge everyone who feels strongly about Polish homophobia to join
us on 17 May," he said.

On the 25 April 2007, Members of European Parliament called on the
Polish government to abandon the homophobic clause in the new
Education Bill, which outlaws the so-called "promotion" of
homosexuality in schools.

In response the European Parliament asked the Polish government to:
"publicly condemn and take measures against declarations by public
leaders inciting discrimination and hatred based on sexual
orientation."

"Polish government ministers have refused to accept or even consider
these criticisms," said gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of
OutRage!, who will join Thursday's protest.

"We are urging the UK and EU to pressure the Polish government to halt
its anti-gay repression and to respect international norms of human
rights.

"The EU and Council of Europe should threaten Poland with sanctions if
it goes ahead with the new anti-gay law.

"We call on the British government, MPs and the gay community to
protest to the Polish Ambassador in London," said Mr Tatchell.

The Polish Ambassador
Embassy of the Republic of Poland
47 Portland Place
London W1B 1JH
Tel : 0870 774 2700
Fax : 0207 291 35 75 and 0207 291 35 76
E-mail: polishembassy@polishembassy.org.uk

Further information:

Jo Field
Head of Policy and Public Affairs
British Youth Council
0207 785 6459
07809 507360
Johanna.Field@byc.org.uk
www.byc.org.uk

Derek Lennard.
IDAHO-UK Coordinator.
0792-1188329
Derek.lennard@idaho.org.uk
www.idaho.org.uk

Peter Tatchell
OutRage!
020 7403 1790
peter@tatchell.freeserve.co.uk
www.petertatchell.net

Notes to Editors –

1. BYC is the national youth council and voice for young people under
26 living in the UK. We represent and involve a unique coalition of
young people through their involvement as individuals or through
national, regional or local youth organisations.

2. BYC's coalition includes over 170 national youth organisations
such as Girlguiding UK, campaigning organisations such as the National
Union of Students (NUS) and youth wings of trade unions, political
parties, faith and arts organisations. Also within our membership and
network are 400 local youth councils and organisations representing
specific groups such as lesbian, gay and bisexual and black and
minority ethnic young people.

3. BYC works to ensure that young people are involved at every level
of decision-making to allow them to be represented and to make their
voices heard.

4. We aim to do four things: Provide a voice for young people;
Promote equality for young people; Help young people be more involved
in decisions that affect their lives; Advance young people's
participation in society and civil life.

5. 17th May is the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) which
takes place in more than 50 countries.

6. IDAHO exits to articulate action and reflection in order to combat
all physical, moral or symbolic violence related to sexual orientation
or gender identity.

7. Further information about IDAHO can be found on the international
website www.idahomophobia.org and the UK website, www.idaho.org.uk.

ENDS


--
Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East
http://www.greenoxford.com and http://www.petertatchell.net


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2 comments:

Novlangue said...

What has this got to do with fighting global warming? Or is that too boring?

Derek Wall said...

You have obviously escaped from the comment is free commentators...I blog on a range of issues including global warming, homophobia...etc, etct

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