While public surveys show that there is little support for legalizing same-sex marriage in Poland, the country’s left-liberal opposition parties appear to be laying the groundwork for legalization should they come to power after upcoming elections.
Insight into how the left might accomplish this goal was made clear during the Campus Polska conference panel on Saturday where the leader of the Polska 2050 party, Szymon Hołownia, and Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski were both asked about their views on the introduction of same-sex marriage. The influential Warsaw mayor, who belongs to the Civic Platform party (PO), said that in many European states, same-sex marriage is being introduced by conservative parties. He called for a debate about marriage equality to be preceded by the introduction of civil partnerships.
In his view, this first step would facilitate the speedy introduction of same-sex marriage which he called “the standard in the civilized world.”
Most of the Polish public is against same-sex marriage, with 64.6 percent of respondents saying they were opposed to same-sex marriage and only 27.2 percent supporting it. Nevertheless, it’s been a long-term goal of the left in Europe and Poland to introduce same-sex marriage to the country.
Hołownia also said he has no doubt that civil partnerships should be introduced, saying it was something Polish society was ready for. The next step, such as same-sex marriage, would require more debate.
“Later, we can discuss what more citizens may want, and there will be different points of view,” he said.
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The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) has consistently opposed introducing civil partnerships, arguing that they are a simply a precursor for same-sex marriage, a point that has been proven to be true in the past, as most Western countries that legalized same-sex marriage first introduced civil partnerships.
Trzaskowski’s and Hołownia’s remarks seem to confirm that the left and liberal establishment plan to pursue a similar course if they win power. However, neither the Warsaw mayor nor the leader of Polska 2050 referred to the fact that according to the Polish constitution marriage is defined as a union between man and woman. It would require a two-thirds majority in parliament to change the constitution in this or any other regard.
Campus Polska is organized for young people and backed by Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowsk, with the event taking place between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1 at the campus of Olsztyn University. The first conference was last year. This year’s conference, titled “Campus Future,” is being attended by approximately 1,250 people and consists of a series of panel discussions.
Most of the speakers at the event are liberal and left-wing politicians and activists. U.S. ambassador to Poland Marek Brzeziński and Israeli writer Yuval Noah Harari will be there, as well as a few conservative commentators such as Tomasz Terlikowski and representatives of the Jagiellonian Club think tank.