A my friend Jan, who will hopefully soon be leaving Poland, sends this terribly disturbing article about the state of affairs there. His hometown of Cracow is at the center of a “gay panic” that is helping neo-fascist Catholic politicians cement their hold on Polish civic and political life. It’s a reminder that however bad things might be here, others have it much worse.
Poland’s incestuous marriage of nationalism and religion, whose most virulent and succesful mainstream political embodyment is the rightist League of Polish Families, has dire consequences for queers and women. There is an obsessive insistence on reproduction. The right-wing repeats ad nauseam the argument of Poland’s falling birthrate. “The fatherland is in danger,” politicians and the media cry out. “Poles are dying, there are no new generations, lesbians, gays and pedophiles do not reproduce. On the contrary, they are out to ambush and deprive your children!” In the past 12 months, the outlines of what is, in fact, a nationalist mobilization against an imagined enemy, queers, have become clear.
While Bush is making stops in the “democracies” of Eastern Europe, he might remind people that even in democracies the abuse of minorities is a slippery slope. Oh, wait– he uses the same tactics at home! What’s worse, the Poles are importing American homophobes to make their gay-bashing arguments. What we don’t stop here can quickly spread abroad!
Anyway, read the article.