Poland’s first openly gay and transgender lawmakers have taken seats in the front bench of Parliament to protest hostile remarks by former President Lech Walesa.
Walesa, the leading hero in Poland’s successful anti-communist struggle, said last week that gays belong on the back rows of Parliament, or “even behind a wall.”
The words sparked huge outrage among liberal Poles, with some questioning whether the Nobel Peace Prize winner has permanently damaged his legacy as a champion of democracy.
LGBT lawmakers Robert Biedron and Anna Grodzka took seats in the front of the assembly on March 6.
The first row is reserved for party leaders. Biedron and Grodzka – who are both new to parliament – usually sit in the third row.