Head of Poland's Catholic Church opposes gay rights

BY admin

October 21 2003 11:00 PM ET

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland said Tuesday that he is depressed by homosexuality and hates seeing men kissing each other, Agence France-Presse reports. The comments came as the ruling party prepared to submit legislation granting domestic-partner benefits. "It depresses me a lot because it is against human nature," Cardinal Jozef Glemp said on public radio in comments regarding the new bill. "I simply hate seeing men kiss each other. Maybe I'm old-fashioned." Glemp also reiterated the church's opposition to plans to liberalize laws against abortion.

The ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party has prepared bills on both issues and is awaiting the go-ahead from its top party body before submitting them to parliament. However, it is far from certain that the legislation will be passed, as the SLD does not have a majority in parliament and polls show the government of SLD leader Leszek Miller to be deeply unpopular. To date there is no legislation addressing gay rights in Poland, where gay men and lesbians tend to remain in the closet. "All we need is a decision by the [party] to submit these two drafts to parliament; it could happen anytime," SLD spokesman Robert Smolen told AFP. Under the gay rights bill "partners would be allowed to register and to benefit from the same legal advantages as for heterosexual marriages," Smolen said, referring to inheritance and taxes.

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