Sunday, March 23, 2008

WARSAW (AP) — When New York gay rights activist Brendan Fay married his partner, he never imagined that the wedding video would be aired across Catholic Poland as a warning against same-sex marriage.

Mr. Fay said he was shocked to learn President Lech Kaczynski used a brief clip of Mr. Fay’s wedding in Canada to partner Tom Moulton in a televised address Monday evening, and Mr. Fay quickly filed a complaint with the Polish Consulate in New York.

“Our images clearly were being used in a campaign by the president of Poland against lesbian and gay persons and fostering intolerance and fear among the people of Poland,” Mr. Fay said Wednesday.

The video and the couple’s marriage certificate were shown as the president warned against the dangers of adopting the European Union’s new treaty and its Charter of Fundamental Rights, which Mr. Kaczynski said could open the door to same-sex marriage in Poland.

Mr. Kaczynski said the charter contains an article that fails to clearly define marriage as a “union between a man and a woman,” which “may go against the universally accepted moral order in Poland.”

Mr. Fay said Polish immigrants and reporters began calling him Tuesday, asking how he felt about having images of him used in the address.

Although a gay rights movement is active in Poland, little official support has been shown for same-sex marriage in the mainly Roman Catholic country, which joined the European Union in 2004. The Polish Constitution states that marriage is between only a man and a woman.

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