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EU lawmakers to study Polish homosexual law plans

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A European Parliament committee said on Tuesday it would examine whether Polish plans to sack teachers who “promote homosexuality” were compatible with the European Union’s anti-discrimination rules.

Polish deputy education minister Miroslaw Orzechowski said last week the country’s conservative coalition government would draft legislation within a month to ban what he referred to as homosexual propaganda at schools.

Orzechowski, a member of the far-right League of Polish Families party, did not explain what exactly he meant by promotion of homosexuality, but he vowed that teachers would not lose their jobs only because they were homosexual.

In response, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee said it would study whether the law, if proposed, would be in line with EU legislation which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

“The disturbing proposals to outlaw discussion of homosexuality raise serious concerns about the commitment to fundamental rights in Poland,” said Kathalijne Buitenweg, a Green parliamentarian from the Netherlands.

“There is a dark undercurrent in Polish politics and society at present, which seeks to promote discrimination of minorities and the disregard of civil rights ... The promotion of gay hatred is the antithesis of EU anti-discrimination rules and the Polish government must publicly reject this approach.”

The committee’s planned review of Polish legislative plans will put pressure on the country’s government, but its findings would not be binding.

Last year, the European Parliament criticised Poland in a resolution condemning a “rise in racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and homophobic intolerance”.