Gays, Poles and Polls
July 31, 2009
I don’t like giving my own opinions in discussions because I think that a.) it shouldn’t matter, b.) my private opinions are my private business, c.) people should be able to discuss a point without converting others to a kind of thinking, d.) they also should be able to approach a topic in an impartial manner no matter their own or others’ private opinions.
That doesn’t work. If I don’t say what I think people are going to ascribe certain opinions to me and then argue with me against what they think I think.
So OK, to avoid confusion: I don’t mind pride parades. I think that gays, and all other people, should be allowed to voice their opinions in any manner they wish. I don’t like parades as such so I never join them. I don’t go to the feminist Manifas either, and I wouldn’t go to any other unless Poland is hijacked by some evil country and it’d be for its independence and against that country. Parades, in my view, are organised ‘against’ rather than ‘for’.
I don’t think that I’m alone in my view for the reasons stated in my previous post. I think that Poles, in general, don’t like parades because they have bad experiences. I never feel like “Hurray” about a parade. Rather it’s something like “Oh no, let’s avoid that part of town today”. It’s when they close the streets and you can’t get anywhere.
However, no matter whether I’m right or wrong in my assumption about the reason why Poles don’t like parades, one thing is certain: they really don’t like pride parades. And if I wrote about it it was not to discourage people from the parades in general, only to look for causes.
The attitude of Poles to gays is very bad. However, they mind the parades much more than they mind gays themselves, and that’s what I think deserves some thought if the gay movement is to achieve anything.
For the purpose of this post some terms should be defined:
Tolerance – to Poles it doesn’t mean approval. It means that they don’t like something but they are going to tolerate it. I.e. as long as you leave me alone I’ll leave you alone too.
Acceptation – is a full recognition of something as equally good even though it’s not what one chooses for oneself.
In this vein some Poles only tolerate other religions, by giving them equal rights and not showing them any interest, while others show full acceptance, i.e. Catholics and Muslims praying together in the intention of Islam, Catholics renovating old Jewish cemeteries, or Catholics and Greek-Orthodox believers blessing Easter eggs together.
The vast majority of Poles don’t accept gay relationships, but many more are ready to tolerate them. However, the situation doesn’t seem to be improving, but rather changes for the worse.
|2001||July 2005||Nov 2005||2008||2009|
Gay Civil Union
Shared property, inheritance laws, one’s right to decide about their partner’s health etc.
As above plus tax benefits
|2001||2003*||July 2005||Nov 2005||2008||2009|
* Gay Civil Union legislation as proposed in Sejm in 2003: Yes 34%; No 56%
As above plus children adoption
|2001||2003||July 2005||Nov 2005||2008||2009|
|Homosexuality is a norm||5%||4%||8%|
|Homosexuality isn’t a norm but should be tolerated||47%||55%||52%|
|Homosexuality isn’t a norm and shouldn’t be tolerated||41%||34%||31%|
|Tolerance and acceptance together||52%||59%||60%|
|July 2005||Dec 2005*||2008|
*54% agreed that the abolition of pride parade in Poznań was appropriate, 35% was of the opposite opinion
Gay Life Style Manifestation in Public
Any sympathy from people the parades received was due to their being abolished in Kraków, Warsaw and Poznań in 2005. It doesn’t mean that more people really likes them, rather that they think that they should be allowed as a matter of freedom of speech.
At the same time, the growing tolerance isn’t this kind of tolerance as in Holand for example, because while 60% of Poles are ready to tolerate gays, at the same time only 37% think that gays should be allowed to have sex!
Their tolerance is in accord with the teaching of the Catholic Church, and has close to nothing to do with the efforts of gay organisations in Poland:
Chastity and homosexuality from the Catholic Catechism
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
All that I can see is that back in April 2001 (before any parade) 58% of people were ready to accept gay civil unions, and 45% accepted such unions with tax benefits, while today the number is 25%. Nothing that is really important for gays improved, on the contrary, things get worse. So what I wanted to say is that perhaps, if people say over and over that they don’t like the parades, keeping them is not the best means of promotion.
Of course it is just one of many things that may be the cause. Gays too aren’t tolerant towards Catholics, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the number of their enemies grows. And, naturally, many people simply wouldn’t accept any public appearance of gays. But, to be sure, not all of the people who don’t like parades are even Catholics, and as many as 50% of those who personally know gays and would give them various rights still oppose the parades. And, the vast majority of gays in Poland don’t even join them.
Yet, it is in gays’ best interest to meet with people. Only 15% of Poles says they know a homosexual person. Will the parades help change the situation?