Nobel Laureate and former Polish President Lech Walesa expanded his already well known anti-marriage equality opinion in an interview yesterday in a television interview to include a general hatred of all things gay in such a manner that even some Poles are saying it may forever tarnish his pro-democracy legacy. His comments over the years regarding the pursuit of partnership rights and decriminalization of homosexuality have been mild compared to the ones expressed yesterday. Follow after the squiggle for the details.
Walesa, the pro-democracy union organizer that fought communism and help bring about a democratic Poland said Saturday that those democratic advancements shouldn't apply to LGBT people. Said Walesa
They have to know that they are a minority and must adjust to smaller things. And not rise to the greatest heights, the greatest hours, the greatest provocations, spoiling things for the others and taking (what they want) from the majority. I don't agree to this and I will never agree to it. A minority should not impose itself on the majority.Walesa even spoke specifically about LGBT participation in Parliament. In 2011, Poland elected a transsexual woman and an openly gay man to Parliament. Referring to them, Walesa said they should not have the right to sit on the front benches, sitting in the back or more preferably "even behind a wall."
In an AP report on the interview a MP and Deputy Speaker in the Polish Parliament reacted.
"From a human point of view his language was appalling. It was the statement of a troglodyte," said Jerzy Wenderlich, a deputy speaker of Parliament with the Democratic Left Alliance.Walesa views has certainly become outside the mainstream not just in the exclusive club of Nobel Peace Laureates, but even in Poland itself. It is sad to see such an important historical figure destroy his bonafides as a human rights activist and leader, but his words are imploding his legacy perhaps beyond repair. The only question is can he even come to realize how out of touch he is with the modern world and find the courage to apologize.
Walesa is no longer active in Polish political life, though he is often interviewed and asked his opinion on current affairs. Much of his time is spent giving lectures internationally on his role in fighting communism and on issues of peace and democracy.
"Now nobody in their right mind will invite Lech Walesa as a moral authority, knowing what he said," Wenderlich said.
Monika Olejnik, a leading television journalist, said Walesa "disgraced the Nobel prize."