Prime-minister: ‘you cannot fire someone because they are homosexual’

17 03 2007

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza of March 15, 2007

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The prime-minster, currently on an official visit to Holland, said that a person cannot be fired on the ground of their homosexual orientation. It came as a reply to the statement deputy Minister of Education Miroslaw Orzechowski’s statement. On Thursday, in an interview for TOK FM radio, he said that gay teachers, who come out, will be fired from work. Teachers’ Union ZNP demands the deputy minister to be fired instead.

Mirosław Orzechowski yesterday declared a fight with promotion of homosexual behaviour – and like he said – “other deviations of this kind” in schools and educational facilities. He added that disobedience in that matter will be punished severely. A teacher who will invite agitators, will lose his job, or even face jail. The same would apply to persons promoting homosexualism.

The Ombudsman is “deeply concerned

The Ombudsman expressed his ‘deep concern” (…). “Particularly inappropriate I find the remarks of Mr Miroslaw Orzechowski, who uses terms like “deviants” when talking about gay people’ – The Ombudsman Janusz Kochanowski wrote in his statement.

Ministry of Education’s spokeswoman Aneta Woźniak assured, that the deputy minister did not use the term “deviant” referring to persons. – ‘Deputy Minister Orzechowski was not talking about people, but actions. When you talk about “deviations” you mean the abnormal behaviour’ – she explained.

ZNP Teachers’ Union: Orzechowski should be dismissed

According to ZNP, Orzechowski should be dismissed for the remarks he made on Thursday. “The deputy minister announced that gay teachers will be fired” – says their statement. Therefore, according to the union, Orzechowski has broken the Constitution, which assures everyone is treated equally by the public authorities.

Aneta Woźniak replies that the deputy prime minister did not announce that gay teachers will be fired. – ‘No one will ask about your sexual preferences. Only those, who promote homosexualism will suffer the consequences’ – said the spokeswoman.

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Respected educator’s open letter to Minister of Education concerning his ideas to ban “homosexual propaganda”

17 03 2007

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Warsaw, March 13, 2007

From:
Anna Dzierzgowska, “Monitor Edukacji” magazine

To:
Roman Giertych, Deputy Prime-minister and Minister of Education
and: the general public

Dear Sir,

Having learned about your project of introducing a statutory ban for “homosexual propaganda” in schools, i would like to address you with few questions. The term “homosexual propaganda” is quite unclear, therefore as to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings in the future, I would like to know:
– will we be able to present Saphone’s poetry?
– will it be allowed to teach about Plato? I guess not. Can you give me an advice then, how to talk about the emergence of Christian philosophy, and how to talk about sources of St. Augustine’s thought?
– what about Shakespeare – and especially what is your advice on the treatment of sonnets?
– during pilgrimages to The Vatican, will be allowed to show students The Sistine Chapel? And do you think presenting the works of Michel Angelo and Leonardo Da Vinci appropriate?
– should we erase the portraits of Narcyza Żmichowska? (and what to do with schools that are named after her?)
– will it be allowed to play Tschaikovsky? (and is ballet at all appropriate for youth?)
– what with English literature? I understand Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf will have to vanish from the school libraries.
– Jan Lechoń, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Jerzy Andrzejewski and Julian Stryjkowski too,is that right? I have some doubts when Gombrowicz is concerned, but I suppose his time has passes as well.
– I do not even ask about the ‘Death in Venice’, it is absolutely clear that this is story violates the dignity of young people.

I would like to enquire about one other matter: I understand that in educating history, we will keep the tradition of not mentioning the persecution of of people belonging to homosexual minorities? We will not teach about the prisoners of the German concentration camps – the so called prisoners with pink triangle, who were oppressed there and killed only because of their homosexuality? It will be not allowed, as I understand, to mention reports of organisations like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, talking about torture, rapes, murders and other forms of violence, that homosexual people experience around the world?

Sir, not so long ago, you declared that you will reply to all letters that are sent to you. You have also stressed, that you are open to suggestions and comments about your actions. That is why, before you form your reply, I suggest you read and think through, and treat as a comment, Plato’s ‘Symposium’.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Dzierzgowska

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MORE ON THE MATTER >>>


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Internet polls on ‘homosexual propaganda ban’

16 03 2007

Portal gazeta.pl

Should headteachers be punished for inviting homosexual organisations?
Yes – 85%
No – 15 %
number of votes: 36,246

Portal onet.pl

Does promoting ‘gay lifestyle’ in schools cause your concern?
Yes – 39%
No – 58%
No opinion – 2%
Number of votes: 25,743

Both polls were conducted on March 13th 2007. Results from 23:45 Warsaw time.

MORE ON THE MATTER >>>


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Catholic bishops: We need to change the constitution

15 03 2007

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza of 15 March 2007
Author: Katarzyna Wisniewska

A regulation protecting life from the moment of conception should be included in the Constitution – says the Episcopate. This is the first joint statement of bishops in the Constitution-row.

Bishops voice in the debate about the Constitution amendments came as a surprise – that subject was not included in the agenda of the Episcopate proceedings. They stated that they support unambiguously the undertaken actions aiming to guarantee the protection of life since conception.

‘The dignity and inviolability of human life since conception until the natural death comes out from natural law, which had always been the subject of the Church’s teachings, and is what the God’s Servant John Paul II had always reminded about’ – the bishops have written.

‘Respect for the dignity of human being from conception to natural death is a test for our humanity: will we show the sacrifice for love, or egoism? Human dignity is not connected with religion – emphatically commented archbishop Józef Michalik.

The chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference had already made it clear before, that he supports the change in constitution. In an unprecedented letter to the to the Speaker of Sejm, in October 2006, prior to the parliamentary debate on constitutional protection of the unborn, he asked the MPs to “put aside all political motives and respect the highest virtue of rightful conscience, which makes “thou shalt not kill” one of the indications constructing our humanity’.

The discussion about the Constitution has begun in September 2006, when the League of Polish Families Party (LPR) has issued a project of supplementing the Article 38. The project is supported by a part of Law and Justice Party (PiS) and Selfderence (Samoobrona) MPs.

However the bishops distance themselves from the ongoing rows surrounding the issue of changing the Constitution. Thy did not say which Article in their opinion should be changed: Article 30 about the dignity of man, or Article 38 about the protection of human life.

‘We avoid political matters in this debate. We do not want to sympathise with any of the parties. We sympathise with the ideals of protecting life’ – pointed out archbishop Michalik.

‘Does constitution not give enough protection for human life? Cannot it stay as it is?’ – we asked archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź.

‘We do not interfere with editing. And anyway this is MPs initiative‘ – replied archbishop avoiding direct answer.

However not all the bishops think that the Constitution needs changing.
– I am convinced that at this moment the Constitution definitely protects life sufficient. – said not so long ago archbishop Tadeusz Gocłowski in an interview for TOK FM radio.

Episcopate objects the row be solved in a referendum (which Democratic Left Alliance, SLD, wants). – ‘Moral dilemmas concerning human life cannot be solved that way’.


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‘We do not want such deviations in schools’ says The Ministry of Education

15 03 2007

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza daily of 14th March
Author: Aleksander Pezda

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Ministry of education to ban homosexual propaganda in schools. And to punish for it with prison or fines.
Miroslaw Orzechowski at Press Conference.‘So far this is only a Ministry’s idea, however there are works under way for a project of a statue.’ – said Deputy Minister of Education Miroslaw Orzechowski (League of Polish Families Party – LPR).

‘The act will not affect the rights of homosexual persons, those who suffer from this condition’ – declared the deputy minister. ‘It will only halt the way to promotion of behaviour of this kind in schools and education facilities.’

Who will be subject to criminal investigation? According to Orzechowski ‘every individual, who will promote homosexualism and other deviations in schools’ will face prison or fines. It will also apply to those ‘who promote homosexuality in a way suggesting that it it sanctioned by the educational facility’.

The journalists were asking, if breachers of the proposed act will face prison, and if so for how long. ‘You have the Criminal Bill, look it up, check what is there for other deviations. We are only at the stage of planning now.’

The journalists were also asking, what is ‘homosexal propaganda’ supposed to mean. Would for example inviting a homosexual singer, who would admit, on stage, that he is homosexual fit under that definition? – ‘I don’t see anything wrong with that. Everyone can admit he is a pederast’ – said the deputy minister.

So is information about homosexuality in a biology coursebook allowed? – ‘Yes, because that would belong to the zone of knowledge’.

To give an example of reprehensible homosexual propaganda Orzechowski has shown a leaflet produced in 1998 by the Krakow Group of Lesbians and Gays entitled ‘Live passionately, make love safely’. Leaflets were part of an anti-HIV campaign, promoting the use of condoms and safe sex.

‘It instructs how to make anal homosexual sex’ – the deputy minister was outraged, and said that such leaflets were distributed in schools in Krakow.

The leaflets were indeed distributed to Krakow high school students, not in schools however, but in the Krakow City Hall, where they were brought for a workshop on preventing AIDS.

Asked if homosexual propaganda was a common pracitice in Polish school, deputy minister said ‘No, but we have to stand against it’.

He pointed out to the Council of Europe’s handbook for teachers as another example of pathology. The publication entitled ‘Compass: Educating on Human Rights’ contains proposals for lesson scenarios, also about homosexualism. Minister of Education Roman Giertych has fired the president of Teachers Education Institution Miroslaw Sielatycki, for having published that handbook. The case of his dismissal is waiting for hearing in the Labour Court.

(…) Deputy minister Orzechowski admitted, that it is dufficult for him to talk about homosexuality, at this subject repulses him.

The government has not yet seen the ministry’s project. However on yesterday’s press conference, the prime-minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski asked about it, said ‘agreeing for homosexual propagannda in schools is too much. These restrictions should be applied’.

What does Law and Justice Party (PiS) MPs think about this?

Maria Nowak, PiS MP, deputy chairwoman of Sejm’s Education Commission makes light of the whole matter. ‘This is LPR’s move to win more popularity’

However she admits that she personally finds homosexuality as something ‘not entirely normal’. – ‘And I see no reason for inviting homosexual people to schools. This is their private matter, and you do not need to talk about it too much, and pay so much attention to it’– she says.

‘There are homosexual characters in handbooks for British kindergarten children, in French books they analyse all kinds of families, including homosexual couples. Only the Polish administrative life is behind’ – commented Yga Kostrzewa, spokeswoman for Lambda Warsaw, gay and lesbian association. – ‘We can close our eyes and pretend that there is no problem, but this will not change the fact that homosexualism in Poland exists. Talking about this in schools is not dangerous: talking will not make anyone adapt homosexual orientation’.

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