ADDED ON: 05/08/2019

Poles stage protest rally in support of LGBT activist

05/07/2019 | Reuters

Hundreds of Polish gay rights activists staged a protest rally on Tuesday evening over the brief detention of a woman who posted images near a church of the Virgin Mary with her halo painted to resemble the rainbow flag of the LGBT community. Elzbieta Podlesna was questioned for almost five hours on Monday after police raided her home in Warsaw, the daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported. She remains free but could face up to two years in prison if charged with offending religious beliefs. The prosecutor in charge of the case has so far said only that Podlesna is a suspect in an ongoing investigation. The case highlights divisions within devoutly Catholic Poland ahead of European and national parliamentary elections in which the conservative ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) party hopes to make LGBT rights a battleground with the more liberal opposition. “It’s important because we see an attack on LGBT people and queer people, but also because it is aimed at activists, they just want to scare us,” said one protester, Anna Pietrucha, 26, who held a poster of the Virgin Mary with the rainbow.

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