Has Lech Walesa completely tarnished his image as a peacemaker?
Walesa, the union organizer who became Poland's first democratic president in 1989, shocked fans and foes alike by saying last week that gay people should basically stop trying to be involved in the democratic process and go back to the proverbial kitchen, or, to be more precise, "behind a wall," especially in Parliament, because "a minority should not impose itself on the majority."
From ABC News:
Walesa said in a television interview on Friday that he believes gays have no right to sit on the front benches in Parliament and, if represented at all, should sit in the back, "and even behind a wall."
"They have to know that they are a minority and must adjust to smaller things. And not rise to the greatest heights, the greatest hours, the greatest provocations, spoiling things for the others and taking (what they want) from the majority," he told the private broadcaster TVN during a discussion of gay rights.
"I don't agree to this and I will never agree to it."
"A minority should not impose itself on the majority," Walesa said.
Obviously many people are outraged over the Nobel Peace prize winner's remarks, but the most concise criticism may come from liberal Polish politician Jerzy Wenderlich, "It was the statement of a troglodyte."
"From a human point of view his language was appalling," Wenderlich said of the devote Catholic's comments. "Now nobody in their right mind will invite Lech Walesa as a moral authority, knowing what he said."
But most people also know that Walesa's labor past doesn't mean he's progressive. He did, after all, supported Mitt Romney during the last election, and was pretty chummy with Ronald Reagan, who was of course no friend of friends of Dorothy.
(Image via Christofer C. Dierdorff.)