Kaczynski calls LGBT rights a 'threat' to Poland

Warsaw (AFP) –


Poland's ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has denounced LGBT rights, gender theory and UN sex education recommendations as a "threat" to the devout Catholic EU country.

The head of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has also called on the country's 38 million people to respect the Catholic Church regardless of personal beliefs.

Kaczynski made the comments Wednesday in the central city of Wloclawek at a patriotic conference organised by Catholic Action, a lay group that seeks to boost Catholic influence on society.

Widely regarded as Poland's de facto powerbroker, Kaczynski identified a series of phenomena that he believes threaten the country.

Those include "an attack on the family and children, their sexualisation", as well as sex education recommendations from the World Health Organization, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) movement.

He also faulted gender theory -- a look at sexual orientation and the roles assigned by society to individuals based on their gender -- which the Polish church believes undermines the traditional family.

"These ideologies, philosophies, all of this is imported, these are not internal Polish mechanisms," Kaczynski said at the conference.

"They are a threat to Polish identity, to our nation, to its existence and thus to the Polish state."

Though he is formally only a member of parliament, the powerful PiS leader has played a key role behind the scenes in shaping both domestic and foreign policy since the party took power in 2015.

The latest opinion polls show the PiS just edging ahead of the broad liberal-centrist opposition European Coalition in next month's EU election.

In presenting his vision of the Polish state, Kaczynski denounced attacks against the Catholic Church and lauded the role of the Christian faith in Polish life.

"To call into question the position of the Catholic Church is a non-patriotic act regardless of (the person's) beliefs," he said.