Poland’s first openly gay elected official says he was physically assaulted and taunted after marching in the Equality Parade in Warsaw this weekend. Though Robert Biedron wasn’t involved as a figurehead of the march, he’s been a supporter of LGBT rights in Poland since his election in 2011.
The incident happened in a cafe in central Warsaw, where Biedron headed to celebrate the festivities with a group of friends following the march. “An aggressive man insulted us using homophobic statements,” Biedron said. “He began to choke one of my friends and punched him in the face. When he recognized me he spat in my face, raised his fists and kicked me in the stomach.”
The assailant didn’t get far before being arrested, and despite the beating, Biedron was quick to point out the drop in hostility compared to last year’s Pride festival. “This was an unpleasant incident, and it shows that there is perhaps no sense in burying one’s head in the sand,” he told Polsat News.