Europe » Poland
Gay Guide Poland
The age of consent for all in Poland is 15 and was introduced in 1932 already. In the same year it was also confirmed that homosexual activities were legal – a pioneer work in Europe. The Polish constitution prohibits discrimination on any grounds, but defines marriage as an exclusive union between a man and a woman. By joining the European Union on 1 May 2004, Poland committed itself to implement the anti-discrimination provisions of the EU directives. In the mayoral elections in city of Sloupsk , the openly homosexual candidate Robert Biedron met with fierce resistance from the Catholic Church and extreme right-wing parties, and was even physically attacked during the election campaign. Nevertheless, he was surprisingly clearly elected mayor in the second ballot. Although homosexuality is still taboo in many parts of Poland, the issue has been increasingly discussed in public and in the media for several years. A draft law on the registration of same-sex partnerships presented in January 2013 was the subject of much debate: While the Liberals and Social Democrats were demanding more rights, the government coalition was strongly opposed to the law at the same time. The 2015 votes showed a clear rejection of the law in parliament. Poland already lags behind most Western European countries in implementing LGBT rights and does not support same-sex civil partnerships, forbids gay marriage and adoption of children by gay couples. While the first Pride parades were either cancelled or met with protests, on 17 July 2010 the EuroPride was held in the capital Warsaw with over 10,000 participants - without any violent attacks. This shows the division of the country: opinions on homosexuality diverge a lot, both in government and in society. Homophobic parts of the country now contrast with flourishing gay neighbourhoods in the big cities. This discrepancy has led to an open debate of the issue, which leads to visibility and can mean a further step towards normality. The gay scene is mainly concentrated in Warsaw, but is also slowly developping in other cities such as Krakow, Lodz, Poznan, Wroclaw and Gdansk. There are three Pride events in Poland: "Queer May" in Krakow in April, the Warsaw "Equality Days" in June and the "Equality and Tolerance Days" in Poznan in November.
Cities in Poland
Location: Eastern Europe
International country code: 48
International access code: 0 (wait for tone) 0
Currency: 1 New Zloty (Zl) = 100 Groszy
Religions: 87% Roman Catholic
Climate: Continental climate. The best time to visit is late spring (May & Jun) or late summer (Jul-Sep).
Important gay cities: Warszawa, Tricity (Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot)
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