By John-Henry Westen
BRUSSELS, April 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a disgraceful debate in the European Parliament (EP) yesterday, Members of the European Parliament from France, the Netherlands and Italy, among others, vilified Poland as “hateful” and “repulsive” for refusing to allow promotion of homosexuality in schools.
A vote was held today to approve an EP resolution chastising Poland for ‘homophobia.’ The resolution – adopted by 325 votes to 124, with 150 abstentions – calls for a fact-finding mission to be sent to Poland, for “worldwide de-criminalisation of homosexuality” and for the Commission to take Member States to court if they breach their EU obligations.
At issue was a proposed law in Poland which would forbid “homosexual propaganda” in schools. Explaining the legislation earlier this year, Roman Giertych, Poland’s minister of education: “One must limit homosexual propaganda so that children won’t have an improper view of family”
Beginning the debate in the EP France’s MEP Rour Martine called statements in defense of the traditional family by Polish parliamentarians, “diatribes” and noted that they “must stop”, adding that they were “repulsive” and “hateful”. “These are not Europe’s values,” she proclaimed.
The statements from France were supported by Sophia in’t Veld of the Netherlands who also accused the Polish government of “hatred” and demanded action rather than words from the EU governing body.
Italy’s Giusto Catania joined in the attack on Poland adding an attack on the church as well which he said never stopped in expressing hatred toward homosexuals.
Some of the MEPs from Poland and Northern Ireland walked out of the debate as a protest, however those who remained gave a strong defence of their positions. Poland’s Konrad Szymanski said that the debate was evidence that the “European Paliament can be led by the nose by a group of extremist politicians.”
But the most powerful response came from Poland’s Bogdan Pek. “This was an artificial piece of theatre,” he said. “An attempt to carry out an assault on a particular member state that a bunch of liberals and lefties disapprove of.” Pek continued, “For God’s sake, in the recent histories of your countries there has been persecution – persecution of Jews for example who took refuge in Poland.”
“Poland is a tolerant, hospitable country. It is absurd to suggest that Poland is an island of intolerance in Europe. That is an insult and a lie. A cynical manipulation which is designed to pull the wool over the European public’s eyes. I protest against that form of manipulation and falsehood,” he concluded.
Despite such a spirited defence, comments by the leaders of EU governing body indicated that there was to be no tolerance for ideas which would view homosexual acts as unnatural. European commissioner for equal opportunity, Vladimir Spidla, said of the proposed Polish educational legislation banning promotion of homosexuality: “Such a law, if it were to emerge, would be in contradiction with the European human rights convention and the EU charter on fundamental rights.”
In the resolution passed today, MEPs urge the Polish authorities “to refrain from proposing or adopting a law as described by the Vice Prime Minister and Polish Minister of education”. They demand a fact-finding mission into Poland regarding ‘homophobia’, and threaten court action on Poland or any other member nation unwilling to submit to EU rights conventions which they have interpreted to disallow a government from forbidding homosexual promotion in schools.
In Warsaw, Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski commented on the EP resolution saying: “Nobody is limiting gay rights in Poland. However, if we’re talking about not having homosexual propaganda in Polish schools, I fully agree with those who feel this way – such propaganda should not be in schools; it definitely doesn’t serve youth well.”
To see yesterday’s nearly hour-long EP debate on video go to “17:03.15 Rothe” at this link:
See the full text of the European Parliament Resolution here: