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Poland's First Openly Gay Mayor Heralds Shift In Polish Social Climate

-Dziękuję,_ja_jestem_cała_tęczowa!-_(3627249590)

Robert Biedron has become Poland’s first openly gay mayor and in so doing has triggered a trend the Polish media are referring to as the “Biedron Effect.” Biedron first made headlines in 2011 when he became Poland’s first openly gay member elected to the Sejm, the lower house of Poland’s parliament. An outspoken defender of gay rights, Biedron was elected as a representative for the Palikot Movement, a liberal, anti-clerical Polish party.

Though he was technically elected through Poland’s system of proportional representation, Biedron’s presence in the Polish parliament marked the start of a shift in the types of people running for public office in the country.

Anna Grodzka, Poland’s first publically elected transgender member of parliament came into office in the same round of elections with Biedron. Similarly, in the days running up to the Mayoral election that Biedron won, a record number of queer-identified candidates came out. While none of the other openly gay candidates were elected to seats, Biedron says that their presence in the public sphere reflects a change in Poland’s atmosphere.

"I see how fast Polish society has learned its lesson of tolerance," Biedron told the Associated Press. "So I am very optimistic and happy with Polish society — and proud."


Poland's First Openly Gay Lawmaker Attacked Following Pride Parade in Warsaw

Poland
(images of anti-gay nationalists and Warsaw's equality parade here)

Poland's first openly gay MP Robert Biedron was attacked following a Gay Pride parade on Saturday in Warsaw, Polskie Radio reports:

BiedronBiedron said that the attack took place in a cafe in central Warsaw where the MP was relaxing with a group of friends following the march.

“An aggressive man insulted us, using homophobic statements. He began to choke one of my friends and punched him in the face. “When he recognized me he spat in my face, raised his fists and and kicked me in the stomach,” the MP said.

According to Biedron, the assailant then ran away but was arrested shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, Biedron noted that the march itself had been considerably less problematic this year. The MP stressed that there were no signs of stones or bottles being thrown at marchers on Saturday, in contrast to some previous occasions.

Biedron tweeted shortly after the attack:

"I'm sick of homophobia. I was just beaten by a homophobe in the center of Warsaw. Police quickly caught him. Evening at the police station."

Biedron


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