Monday, June 17, 2013

World News

Openly Gay Polish Parliamentarian Attacked During Warsaw Pride
MP Robert Biedron (L) during Saturday's Equality Parade. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kaminski 
WARSAW -- Poland's first openly gay member of Parliament reported that he was assaulted after he had attended the city's annual Pride parade Saturday. Robert Biedron, of the liberal Palikot's Movement party, told POLSAT News that the attack took place in a cafe in central Warsaw where the MP was relaxing with a group of friends following the march.
“An aggressive man insulted us, using homophobic statements. He began to choke one of my friends and punched him in the face. When he recognized me he spat in my face, raised his fists and and kicked me in the stomach,” the MP said. 
Biedron said that his assailant then ran away but was arrested shortly afterwards by alert police officers. He also noted that the march itself had been considerably less problematic this year as there had been were no signs of stones or bottles being thrown at marchers on Saturday, in contrast to some previous years.
“This was an unpleasant incident, and it shows that there is perhaps no sense in burying one's head in the sand,” said Biedron. “You cannot call bandits patriots, a tendency that one often hears from the lips of politicians,” he said.
There were several thousand people who marched through the Polish capital city this year, the participants calling on the government for equal treatment for all Polish citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, religion or skin colour. 
Biedron has been an MP for the liberal anti-clerical Palikot's Movement since the general election of 2011, when the party took a surprise 10 percent share of the national vote, becoming the third largest party in parliament.