Hope and Fear in Today’s Poland
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Published in: March-April 2004 issue.


Editor’s note: This piece follows up on a feature article by Pawel Leszkowicz on gay art and politics in Poland in the G&LR’s May-June 2003 issue.


On December 11, 2003, politicians and skinheads picketed the Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland, where students were holding a meeting about a bill to legalize same-sex unions. Their target was the keynote speaker of the meeting, senator of Polish Parliament Maria Szyszkowska. In ultraconservative Poland, she authored and proposed to the Senate a bill supporting same-sex partnership. Under the law, same-sex couples would be able to register their partnership and be entitled to economic rights in taxation, insurance, and succession, but no adoption to same-sex unions. Section 4 of the bill recognizes that same-sex partners come together for emotional support and spiritual understanding. Granting a legal status to same-sex unions would mark a breakthrough in post-Communist Poland. The fact that there’s official discussion about such a bill is itself a democratic advance.

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