Catholic archbishop warns of ‘rainbow plague’ threatening Poland
The archbishop of Krakow in southern Poland is facing backlash for comparing the “red plague” of Communism to the gay rights movement, describing the latter as a “rainbow plague” brainwashing his countrymen.
“Our land is no longer affected by the red plague, which does not mean that there is no new one that wants to control our souls, hearts and minds,” Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said on Thursday, delivering a mass to mark the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising against the Nazi occupation.
Jedraszewski argued that the communist ideology and the LGTB-championed ideas of equal rights for sexual minorities are effectively rooted in the same source.
“Not Marxist, Bolshevik, but born of the same spirit, neo-Marxist,” he said, calling the global gay rights campaign that has rolled down to Poland a “rainbow disease.”
The cleric’s outburst predictably drew ire from the liberal opposition to and critics of the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Robert Bierdon, Poland’s first openly gay politician and the leader of the pro-EU Spring party, called the archbishop “the devil incarnate” and accused him of crossing the red line “impassable in a democratic state.”
“I am gay, and I’ll let him say it to my face that I am the plague. I’d tell him about my childhood and how I wanted to commit suicide after I read that being gay is a disease,” the politician said, adding that he would be penning a letter to Pope Francis in hopes he would “intervene” in the situation.
A number of LGTB-related controversies have rattled Poland, a deeply Catholic country, this year. Last month, a conservative Polish newspaper sparked outrage after it introduced ‘LGTB-free zone’ stickers, which were immediately compared to the Nazi posters warning Jews to “keep out.”
In May, a Polish LGTB activist was arrested for offending religious beliefs after she printed out posters showing baby Jesus and Madonna with rainbow halos over their heads.
Gay rights events in Poland are often marred by violence. A pride march in the city of Bialystok in late July quickly descended into chaos after gay rights activists were confronted by a group of anti-LGTB protesters, who pelted them with rocks, bottles and firecrackers.
Polish police use tear gas on right-wing protesters during city’s 1st gay rights march (VIDEO)
Polish police deployed tear gas, water cannon, and concussion grenades on right-wing demonstrators as a city in the country’s east hosted its very first gay rights march.
More than 1,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights activists were interrupted by around 300 right-wing opponents in the city of Lublin on Saturday, according to AP.
The demonstrators threw stones at police, prompting officers to respond with tear gas and other measures. Small groups also tried to break through a police cordon that was protecting the march.
The event took place just one day after Lublin’s Court of Appeals overruled a ban by Mayor Krzysztof Zuk, who had previously prohibited the parade, citing security concerns.
Despite the attempted interruption on Saturday, the march continued without any major issues.
Although gay rights parades have been taking place in Warsaw and many other cities throughout Poland, the ruling conservative party is not supportive of gay rights groups.