Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to be called as a witness in a defamation case against Polish anti-abortion campaigner Kaja Godek who described his sexuality as “perversion” during a television debate.
Legal action was filed against Godek on Wednesday at Warsaw’s district court by 16 lesbian and gay men.
Ms Godek is a co-founder of the Life and Family Foundation, an organisation who are attempting to tighten Polan’s already restrictive abortion laws.
On May 30, a Polish television station held a debate following Ireland’s abortion referendum. Ms Godek said she was not surprised by the result in favour of removing the Eighth Amendment given that Taoiseach Varadkar had flaunted his “bizarre” sexual orientation and shown “his perversion to the people”.
Asked by the host if she was saying homosexuals were perverted, Ms Godek continued: “Yes, yes. If the prime minister of Ireland declares that he has a male sexual partner, if it is accepted as normal, it is monstrous that such a country should be defined as a Catholic country.”
Further, into the discussion, she remarked that Varadkar’s homosexuality as an “ailment”. To this, co-panellist Katarzyna Piekarska, a left-wing politician and Warsaw city councillor.
“You should be ashamed of yourself that you define a person with a different orientation as a pervert,” she said.
The 16 women and men who are taking libel action against Ms Godek includes LGBT+ rights activists and professors of law.
Aleksandra Muzinska, co-president of the Love Does Not Exclude movement, described Ms Godek as “a symbol of homophobia in Poland”.
“She is becoming more aggressive and we are trying to stop her because enough is enough,” she said.
Polish campaigners said on Wednesday they were aware of the demands on Mr Varadkar’s time. “But it would be absolutely great to have him here to testify,” said Ms Muzinska. “Even a public statement would be very helpful.”
Taoiseach Varadkar has yet to make a statement on the case.
Inequality in Poland
Polish LGBT+ activists and campaigners continue to fight for equality and justice.
In August of this year, the final of Mr Gay Europe was held in the western city of Poznan in Poland.
“I hope this will help us in our fight for the same rights as those enjoyed in the rest of Europe,” event organiser Pawel Zabilski told AFP.
A gay pride parade was organised to coincide with the event and required a police guard due to the high number of anti-LGBT+ counter protestors at the parade.
“It’s not right to give privileges (to LGBT individuals) or elevate them to the level of families,” said protester and pro-life activist Maciej Wiewiorka.
“Giving them the right to adopt when these are freaks is absurd and shouldn’t happen,” he told AFP.
Same-sex couples cannot marry or adopt children in Poland, which is one of Europe’s most devout countries and where the Church continues to play a key social role in shaping attitudes.
70% of Poles thought homosexual relations were unacceptable, according to a 2014 opinion poll from the CBOS institute.
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