The Polish president’s first visit to Berlin came to a noisy end as he was confronted by dozens of gay rights activists. Lech Kaczynski was giving a lecture on European solidarity at Humboldt University when a group of demonstrators forced their way into the packed hall. They chanted “shame” and hurled eggs at the 56-year-old conservative who sparked controversy as mayor of Warsaw by banning gay rights marches.
Police quickly entered the building to break up the protest but the University’s vice-chancellor ordered them not to throw out the demonstrators. Kaczynski was unapologetic about his views on homosexuality when questioned afterwards. “I don’t agree to see this issue in a way that there is a heterosexual culture and a homosexual culture and that they are equal. I see no reason to promote such attitudes, because if they were common, the human race would have to die out,” he said. He also spoke about the EU constitution and said the bloc might need to work on a new charter with a different kind of political integration from the one envisaged by the original document.