Madonna songs at EuroPride 2010 Parade - Warsaw, Poland, July 17, 2010

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Des chansons de Madonna au défilé de l'EuroPride 2010 - Warsaw, Pologne, 17 juillet 2010.


Gay Parade in Warsaw Meets Jeers From Some
Sunday, July 18, 2010
By NICHOLAS KULISH, The New York Times

WARSAW -- Rainbow flags flying, Village People and Madonna songs pumping from the floats, drag queens waving like royalty to the crowds: some things are the same at gay pride parades everywhere. But the thousands of police officers holding back clusters of jeering, egg-throwing youths here on Saturday served as a reminder that Poland was not quite Holland when it came to gay demonstrations.
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals not just from Poland but from all over Europe and North America marched and danced their way through downtown Warsaw, calling for greater tolerance and equal rights, in particular the right to marry or at least to be joined in civil partnerships.
The event, the first Europewide gay pride parade held in a former Communist bloc country, revealed a place where gays and lesbians aspired to the level of acceptance found in Western European cities like Amsterdam and London, yet remained part of a deeply Catholic society that was still significantly more opposed to homosexuality than in the West and where politicians did not seem ready, or perhaps willing, to change that.
It was most likely the largest gathering of its kind in Polish history, but its 8,000 participants made up just a fraction of the 50,000 people who took part in last year's parade, in Zurich. For the most part, Saturday's parade went smoothly, but it was met with resistance from a population ill at ease with open displays of homosexuality. Many gay men and lesbians here say they continue to fear repercussions from coming out of the closet.
"I lived in Berlin and, there and here, they are simply two different worlds," said Tomasz Baczkowski, head of the Equality Foundation and an organizer of this year's EuroPride event.
It was just five years ago that Lech Kaczynski, Poland's president who died in a plane crash in April, banned Warsaw's annual gay pride parade in 2005 when he was the city's mayor. Mr. Baczkowski was among the plaintiffs in a 2007 lawsuit before the European Court of Human Rights that successfully challenged the ban.
Since then, Mr. Baczkowski said, "things have developed quickly, but not quickly enough for us." He said he hoped to see Poland legalize gay marriages within three to four years, as Argentina did on Thursday.
But a sociology professor at Warsaw University, Ireneusz Krzeminski, said the political culture was not yet ready.

Source: Post-Gazette.

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