October 11, 2011
Massive gains for LGBT-friendly party in Polish election
The Palikot Movement has gained 10% of the popular vote in Poland’s parliamentary elections. The new centre-left party, a supporter of LGBT rights, now includes the country’s first gay and trans MPs.
The Palikot Movement was founded by popularist politician Janusz Palikot, a former member of the ruling Civic Platform party. It seeks to undermine the Roman Catholic Church’s influence on Polish politics, backing liberal moves such as the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, free access to contraception and a relaxation of abortion laws.
The new movement, only formally registered as a political party in June 2011, becomes the third largest body in the lower house of Poland’s parliament after a strong showing in Sunday’s elections.
Anna Grodzka becomes Poland’s first trans MP after being elected as the Palikot Movement representative for the traditionally conservative city of Krakow. She is believed to be the world’s only sitting trans MP, and the third ever to have been elected.
Robert Biedroń of the Campaign Against Homophobia was also elected as a Palikot Movement representive, becoming Poland’s first gay MP.
“Today Poland is changing. I’m the proof,” declared Grodzka following her victory.
Homophobia and transphobia are common in Poland, with 66% of Poles opposing Pride demonstrations in a 2008 study, and 69% saying that people should not have the right to be openly gay.
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