Last weekend while the British nations and the Commonwealth were celebrating their Queen’s jubilee, her ambassador in Poland was on the streets of Warsaw, not to celebrate his Queen, but marching behind the rainbow flag as a mark of support for gay rights in Poland. (I know, a pun is called for here, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.) Fine, if he had nothing better to do with his private time on a Saturday afternoon and he participated as a private citizen. But he marched officially.
Forgive me if I have misunderstood the situation but gay rights seem to me to be as recognised in Warsaw as they are anywhere in Western Europe. No gay person I know has ever complained to me about discrimination or infringements of their rights, whatever those are considered to be. Poles, like most sensible people, seem to live and let live.
Agreed, there are extreme groups of thugs who are vocal in their ignorance, but so there is everywhere. There are also cynical self-serving politicians and ignorant members of the cloth, forgetful of the tenets of their faith, who use the liberal attitude to gay culture as evidence of a general decadence and, in an attempt to bolster their positions, spread fear amongst the ignorant. But, these are exceptions, not the rule. Equally offensive, in my opinion, are those people who politicise their sexuality. Sexuality should be a private matter.
If members of the diplomatic corps feel so strongly about the abuse of gay rights they might do better to forsake the liberal streets of Warsaw and spread the word in the provinces where there is less tolerance and, perhaps, even less Christianity. But that would mean facing the prospect of an unreceptive audience.
British diplomats should march but for real issues. Of course, they may not earn themselves brownie points from the exponents of political correctness or be guaranteed a mention in the newspapers, but it would celebrate two aspects of the Queen’s 60 year reign in which the British excel: high culture and education! Marked was the absence of high culture in any of the British Embassy’s celebrations programme. I wonder why?