Robert Biedron, who made history as Poland’s first openly gay mayor in 2014, announced a new political party in the country on Sunday (3 February).
Speaking to a rally of thousands of people, Biedron unveiled the new progressive party, Wiosna (Spring). Its inception arrives before European and Polish elections later this year. The next parliamentary election in Poland must be held no later than November 2019.
‘There is no room for hate, we have reached the limit,’ he told the audience gathered in Warsaw. ‘We need a spring that will renew this gloomy landscape.’
He also stated that Poland must now ‘fulfill the legacy of Pawel Adamowicz’. Adamowicz was a liberal political who advocated for LGBTI rights, until he was assassinated last month.
Currently, the right-wing party Law and Justice is the ruling party of Poland, after winning a majority three years ago. It’s led by President Andrzej Duda.
Biedron, 42, began his political career in the 1990s.
He started gaining recognition when voters elected him to the lower house of parliament in 2011. He also served as the mayor of Slupsk from 2014 to 2018.
During his speech on Sunday, he spoke of his party’s platform addressing major issues in the Catholic-dominated Poland.
These issues include liberalizing abortion laws, ending Poland’s reliance on coal by 2035, and stopping deforestation.
Poland’s conservative grip
Under the ruling of Duda and the Law and Justice, Poland has expressed and made numerous conservative decisions.
In December, along with Hungary, they vetoed the inclusion of LGBTI language in an EU statement.
Duda has also expressed supporting the ban of ‘homosexual propaganda’.
Despite these forces against them, Polish people have defied such movements. Students turned up to school wearing rainbows following the ban of LGBTI events and one city hosted their first ever Pride in the face of violent protests.