Polish Consulate

Manchester students express concern over anti-LGBT comments of Polish president

  • President of Poland Andrzej Duda expresses support for an 'anti gay-propoganda' law
  • Polish and LGBT students in Manchester voice anger at comments

Polish and LGBT students in Manchester Universities expressed their concern and anger as President Andrzej Duda of Poland expressed his support for the introduction of laws banning what he called “gay propaganda” in Polish schools.

Earlier this year, schools in Poland were warned against holding a day promoting LGBT tolerence.

President Andrzej Duda
President Duda (centre) Credit: public relations department of Parliament of Latvia


 Duda is reported to have said in a interview with Nasz Dziennik:  

“I think that this kind of propaganda should not take place in schools, it has to be calmly and consistently opposed.

“If such a law was created and would be well written, I do not exclude that I would approach it seriously.”

Commentaters in Poland have likened such measures to those brought in by Russia which have faced global condemnation. 

Gay Polish student, Marcin who is 23 and studies at a Manchester university approached the Northern Quota as he wanted to express his concern.

Marcin said that attitudes towards LGBT issues in Poland are heavily influenced by the Catholic church. He said: 

It is not like here, In Poland being gay is not something you talk about

He said he feels angry that LGBT rights appear to be worsening and ‘going backwards’.

“Tolerence and respect are essential in schools, why does the government wants to stop this?”

In an article earlier this year Labour MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry raised concern at what she described as the Polish government trying to rig the court system. She said:  

“When governments want to attack the rights of the LGBT community, first they come for the judges.”

Homosexuality is currently legal across Poland but it does not recognise gay marriage.

Manchester has proud links with Poland, having had a large Polish population since the 19th century which continues to flourish today. It has a consulate located at the border of the Manchester’s Gay Villiage.

The Polish Consulate is based opposite the Thompson Arms
LGBT bar the Thompsons Arms is located opposite the rear of the Polish embassy in Manchester

The Manchester consulate was contacted regarding President Duda’s interview but declined to comment.

The Northern Quota took to the streets and spoke to other students in Manchester.

Tom Prendagast
MMU Student Tom Prendagast

Tom Prendagast, 22 a student at Manchester Metropolitan Univeristy who identifies as gay said: 

“Whilst it is important to be respectful of other peoples cultures and soverignity, we have a duty to be poltical and support LGBTQ people everywhere.”

He added, ‘it is important to maintain a dialouge’, and, ‘I hope the European Union would step in’.

Chloe and Lauren
Manchester Art School students Chloe and Lauren

Chloe, 19 and Lauren, 18 are both students at Manchester Art School both said they feel such laws should be unacceptable.

Regarding Gay Propaganda Chloe said, ‘it is stupid, it doesn’t exist’.