Lech Walesa Hub




Lech Walesa Won't Face Hate Crime Charge for Anti-Gay Remarks

Former Polish President Lech Walesa won't be charged with a hate crime for saying gay lawmakers have no right to sit on the front benches in Parliament, calling them a minority who should be "behind a wall."

WalesaThe AP reports:

[Walesa's remarks] prompted Ryszard Nowak, director of the National Committee for the Defense Against Sects and Violence, to file a complaint with prosecutors in Gdansk, Walesa’s hometown. He said Walesa was promoting the hatred of a sexual minority.

But Renata Klonowska, head of the regional prosecutor’s office in Gdansk, said Wednesday that investigators found Walesa did not commit a crime under Polish law.

Walesa may, however, lose the street named for him in San Francisco.


SF Supervisor Wants to Rename City's 'Lech Walesa Street' After Founder of the Gay Games Tom Waddell

WaddellA San Francisco Supervisor angry at Nobel Prize Winner Lech Walesa's homophobic remarks earlier this month says she wants to rename the street that bears his name, the Mercury News reports:

Supervisor Jane Kim said she is seeking to rename Lech Walesa Street, a small alleyway located between Grove and Hayes streets and Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street.

Walesa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 after co-founding the Solidarity independent trade union movement in Poland, made controversial comments in a TV interview on March 1, saying gay people should not be allowed to hold prominent political posts.

Kim, whose district includes Lech Walesa Street, said she is considering renaming the street after Tom Waddell, a gay activist, or reverting back to the alleyway's previous name of Ivy Street. The Tom Waddell Health Center, which includes a transgender clinic, is located on Lech Walesa Street. Waddell worked at the clinic and also created the Gay Olympics, later renamed the Gay Games, Kim said.

Waddell died in 1987 of AIDS-related causes in 1987.

Kim says she will do LGBT outreach on the issue and make her decision.


Poland: In Protest of Lech Walesa, Gay and Trans Lawmakers Take Front Bench in Parliament - PHOTO

Polish_parliament

Poland's first gay lawmaker Robert Biedron (right) and first transgender lawmaker Anna Grodzka took seats in the front bench of Parliament today as a protest of Lech Walesa's remarks earlier this week that gays have no right to sit there, and should even be kept "behind a wall".

The Guardian:

Both are members of the progressive Palikot's Movement party, and party leader Janusz Palikot arranged for the two to sit in, relinquishing his own seat to Biedron.

"Lech Walesa is an important symbol for us all and for the whole world," Biedron told the Associated Press before attending the session. "I respect him and I'd rather he used other words – words of acceptance and of respect for other people."

...The first row in the semi-circular lower chamber, or Sejm, is reserved for party leaders and prominent lawmakers. Biedron and Grodzka – who have been in parliament since 2011 – usually sit in the third row.

Walesa said this week he would not be apologizing for his remarks.

"I will not apologize to anyone," the former president said in an interview Monday. "All I said (was) that minorities, which I respect, should not have the right to impose their views on the majority. I think most of Poland is behind me."


Lech Walesa on Anti-Gay Remarks: 'I Will Not Apologize to Anyone'

Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Pize winner Lech Walesa stands by his remarks earlier this week that gays should be "behind a wall", CNN reports:

WalesaA devout Catholic and father of eight children, Walesa now says he has nothing to apologize for despite a mountain of criticism heaped upon a man who was once venerated as a champion of Polish liberty. He stressed he did not "feel homophobic."

"I will not apologize to anyone," the former president said in an interview Monday. "All I said (was) that minorities, which I respect, should not have the right to impose their views on the majority. I think most of Poland is behind me."

Since his comments went nationwide, Walesa has been on the receiving end of furious criticism.

"Why does Lech want me to sit in the back row?" asked Robert Biedron, a member of parliament from the opposition Palikot Movement and Poland's first openly gay politician. "If we accept the rules proposed by Lech Walesa then where would blacks sit? They are also a minority. And what about the disabled?"


Poland's Gay and Trans Lawmakers Moved to Front Bench in Parliament After Lech Walesa's Remarks That They Should Sit in Back

Biedron_grodzka

Poland's first gay lawmaker Robert Biedron and first transgender lawmaker Anna Grodzka have been moved to Parliament's front bench following a firestorm of outrage over Nobel Prize Winner Lech Walesa's remarks this week that gays have no right to sit there, and should even be kept "behind a wall".

The AP reports: Walesa

Janusz Palikot, the leader of progressive party Palikot's Movement, reacted by promoting the party's gay lawmaker, Robert Biedron, and transgender lawmaker, Anna Grodzka, to the front row for a three-day session starting Wednesday. In Poland's Parliament, the front row, which is closest to the Speaker and gets the most TV attention, is generally for party leaders and senior lawmakers. The Cabinet sits in a separate section.

Palikot said he will also seek a resolution asking Walesa to "change his manner of speaking."

Walesa has declined an invitation to meet with Biedron.

Walesa's son said he was shocked by his father's words, which "should not have been said."

Previously...
Nobel Peace Prize Winner Lech Walesa Wants Gays 'Behind A Wall' [tlrd]


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