Polish gay rights advocate among plane crash victims

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The crash of the aging Russian airliner which ravaged the top levels of Poland's leading figures has also claimed the life of Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, one of the most outspoken advocates for LGBT rights in Poland, British gay website PinkNews.co.uk reported.

Jaruga-Nowacka, who served as Poland's deputy prime minister between 2004 and 2005, stood up to homophobic Lech Kaczynski, the Polish president when he — as mayor of Warsaw — cancelled Gay Pride and even spoke at an officially banned Gay Pride even in Warsaw.

“We are for democracy. We are for protection of all human rights, not only for some groups who are in the majority in Poland. All citizens have the right to choose their own way of life.

“I am here to express my protest against the mayor's decision [to ban gay parades] which is a violation of the Polish constitution and of civic rights. I am here to show my respect for the Polish tradition of tolerance,” she replied to Kaczynski's claim that homosexuality will lead to the destruction of human race.

Juruga-Nowacka was widely criticized by social conservatives for her support of gay rights.

The Polish delegation was on the way to commemorate the massacre of 22,000 Polish prisoners at Katyn in 1940 by Stalin’s secret police.

Photo: Sejm

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