In Poland, the country's former President and Nobel prize winner, Lech Walesa made international headlines last week by saying that as a minority, gays have no right to a prominent role in politics, need to "adjust to smaller things" and should sit on the back benches, or even outside the chamber. On Monday, he refused to apologize and said he has been misunderstood.
In response, Janusz Palikot (pictured), the leader of a Polish political party called Palikot's Movement, promoted his party's out and proud lawmaker, Robert Biedron, and transgender lawmaker, Anna Grodzka, to the front row for a three-day session starting Wednesday. In Poland's Parliament, the front row, which is closest to the Speaker and gets the most TV attention, is generally for party leaders and senior lawmakers. The Cabinet sits in a separate section.
Palikot said he will also seek a resolution asking Walesa to "change his manner of speaking."
Walesa has declined an invitation to meet with Biedron.
Walesa's son, Jaroslaw Walesa, an EU Parliament member, said he was shocked by his father's words, which "should not have been said." He also said that: "Gays, lesbians, the homosexuals, have the right to have a representation and should be in Parliament".