Gay rights groups in Poland have unveiled a new and “unbreakable” rainbow installation in Warsaw to replace the original one that suffered repeated attacks from far-Right groups. The new rainbow, which lights up a busy intersection in the city, is formed by a water hologram, with light bouncing off a curtain of vapour.
As light and water cannot be defaced in the same way as a solid structure, its creators hope it will not suffer the fate of its predecessor and will become “an unbreakable symbol of love, peace, LGBT rights and equality.”
The old rainbow, made of artificial flowers, was taken down in 2015 after it was set on fire in series of up to seven attacks that became a symbol of the battle for gay rights in Poland.
“This rainbow signifies the start of a wider campaign to raise awareness of LGBT rights and in particular the fight for marriage equality in Poland,” said Ola Muzinska, chairperson of the Love Does Not Exclude Association, one of the organisers of the rainbow.
Although attitudes to homosexuality have softened in Poland over the years, with the country even boasting its first high-profile and openly gay politician, Poland is Europe’s second most homophobic nation, according to a ranking of 28 European countries by the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association.
Marriage is still classified in the Polish constitution as a union between a man and woman, and therefore any attempts to introduce same-sex marriage could be regarded as unconstitutional.
Some gay rights groups have also accused Poland’s conservative government of fostering intolerance towards LBGT people and doing little to enhance gay rights.
Matthew Day, warsaw
9 JUNE 2018 • 12:09PM