March 6, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Former Polish president sparks controversy
Lech Walesa, Poland, gay news, Washington Blade

Lech Walesa (Photo by Sławek via Wikimedia Commons)

WARSAW, Poland—Polish LGBT rights advocates have criticized former President Lech Walesa for suggesting during a March 1 television interview that gays in Parliament should sit “behind a wall.”

“We are disgusted that such words, directly supporting the idea of ghettoization of LGBT individuals, were spoken out loud by the former president of Poland,” said Agata Chaber of the Campaign Against Homophobia, a Polish gay advocacy group.

An advocacy group filed a complaint against Walesa, the former leader of the Solidarity movement that contributed to the fall of Communism in the Eastern European country in the 1980s, with Gdansk prosecutors on March 3. The 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner has refused to apologize for his comments.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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