Europe court condemns Poland on gay march

May 3, 2007 at 12:45 PM
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WARSAW, Poland, May 3 (UPI) -- The European Union's human rights court has ruled Poland violated human rights when it banned a traditional homosexuals' march in Warsaw in 2005, media said.

The European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, declared organizers of the gay and lesbian march wanted only to draw public attention to the problem of discrimination of minorities, homosexuals and lesbians and mental patients, the Serbian news agency Beta reported from Warsaw Thursday quoting Polish media.

Warsaw authorities violated international conventions when they banned the June 11, 2005, march that was announced well in advance, the Strasbourg court said.

Polish ultra-right President Lech Kaczynski was Warsaw's mayor two years ago and it was he who banned the march.

Despite the mayor's ban, about 2,500 lesbians and gays staged the march.

Recent efforts by Polish authorities to ban marches and demonstrations in favor of gay equality brought criticism from deputies at the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week.

The European Parliament called on Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin brother of the president, to prevent discriminatory plans from his cabinet ministers and to condemn homophobic statements by Polish politicians, Beta said.

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