Gay Soccer Fans in Poland Face Violence Thanks to the Catholic Church?

The Associated Press reported that a Polish gay activist group called Rainbow Stand (or Teczowa Tribuna) wanted separate seating for gay and lesbian soccer fans to protect them from harassment and violence. William Donohue of the Catholic League took exception to this outburst of anti-religious bias:

Polish soccer matches are often the scene of violent attacks and fights involving hooligans.

Homophobia also remains deeply embedded in Poland because of the legacy of communism — which treated homosexuality as a taboo — and the teachings of the church in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

Donohue complained in a statement: "Every world religion is either opposed to homosexuality or takes no position on it; not one finds it acceptable. So if being opposed to homosexuality makes one phobic, then almost the entire world (throughout all of history) suffers the same malady." AP's reporters don't see it as unfair to accuse the Catholic Church of fomenting harassment and violence so severe that gays need their own section of a stadium to stay violence-free.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis