Gay Man, Trans Woman Assume Office As First LGBT Members Of Polish Parliament

Poland is not exactly known as a haven for gay equality—pride parades have been repeatedly banned in Warsaw—but the times, they are a changin’: Today, out lawmaker Robert Biedron and trans activist Anna Grodzka took their seats as the first openly LGBT members of the Polish parliament.

Both Biedron, 35 and Grodzka, 57, are members of the progressive Palikot’s Movement party, which won 40 out of 360 seats in the October 9 elections.

After WWII, the formerly multiethnic Poland became a largely homogenous, conservative Roman Catholic society—but Palikot’s Movement supports a woman’s right to choose and a clearer separation of Church and State, as well as rights for sexual minorities. “Enough of this concealing of the truth,” Grodzka told the AP after her election. “This group of people, even if small, has its rights and they should be respected. They should not be pushed into oblivion… [The people] wanted a modern Poland, a Poland open to variety, a Poland where all people would feel good regardless of their differences. I cannot fail them in their expectations.”