Catholic Church blamed for homophobia in Poland

New leaked WikiLeaks documents have revealed that the United States government is worried about the Catholic Church fomenting homophobia in Poland.

LifeSite News has reported that the cables, from the US embassy in Warsaw, cite the Church as “central” in the promotion of homophobia in the European country.

“The Catholic Church plays a significant role in the formation and propagation of anti-gay attitudes in Polish society, especially in rural areas,” states one cable from August 2009.

Poland has a population similar to Canada’s, and more than 85 percent of citizens are members of the Catholic Church.

This is not the first time the country has been in the news for homophobia; in 2006 then-Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynsky was publicly rebuked by the European Parliament over the Polish government’s homophobic tendencies.

At that time the rightwing League of Polish Families party was part of the government. Members of the party have previously attacked those marching in feminist and queer parades in Poland.

Pride marches were illegal in Poland until 2007, when the European Court of Human Rights ruled that banning parades violates the right to freedom of assembly and association.

Warsaw, the country’s capital, played host to EuroPride in 2010, the first time the event was held in Eastern or Central Europe.

At the time the BBC reported that eggs were hurled at marchers and a petition with more than 50,000 signatures was submitted on behalf of anti-gay organizations calling for the cancellation of the event.

The most recent WikiLeaks dump also revealed that US ambassadors in Sierra Leone have been looking at ways to temper African attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

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