The heavily Catholic Poland was the scene of gays and lesbians marching 15,000 strong through the streets of Warsaw as men hugged and kissed one another to the shock of many local inhabitants. The demonstration was the climax of a two week EuroPride series of events which allow gays and lesbians to openly express love to the world. There were movie festivals, parties, parades and debates all over Europe as gays felt the need to express their pride in being who they wish to be. Poland has been among the most hostile areas toward homosexuals and the mayor Warsaw made certain she was away on a vacation in order to avoid bestowing any sanction on the parade or festival events. City Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz made clear his views by noting: “no one can force us to support, promote or sponsor their parade.” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, brother of the former president who died in an air crash, was even more pointed in his comments. “The affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilization.”
The bad news is a large majority of Poles oppose rights for gays and lesbians. The good news is the figure is now two-thirds hostile which is much less than the three – fourths it used to be.