Poles ask Brit ambassador to cool off ‘gay rights’ push

Polish officials say the British ambassador has over-stepped his authority by throwing his weight behind a march planned by ‘gay rights’ groups due to take place this weekend.

Ahead of the march, Mr Todd gave the leaders of Polish gay lobby groups a translated copy of a UK ‘gay rights’ guide produced by the Foreign Office.

Mr Todd says he is simply acting in line with Foreign Office policy, which calls on staff to push ‘gay rights’ when representing the UK abroad.

But the country’s civil rights ombudsman, Janusz Kochanowski, said the ambassador, Ric Todd, was “being improper and doesn’t understand the role of a diplomat.”

Mr Kochanowski added: “He represents the UK, he is not meant to intervene here in the way that he chooses”.

Last year Mr Todd was criticised for hoisting the rainbow flag of the ‘gay rights’ movement next to the Union flag in front of the British embassy.

Asked whether he would raise the rainbow flag at the British embassies in Saudi Arabia or Iran, Mr Todd said: “I have made a judgement about what I should do in Poland, and in my opinion this is the appropriate thing to do in this country.”

“I am not interfering in Polish politics or society nor am I criticising it.”

However, Mr Kochanowski said Mr Todd seemed to be implying that homosexuals in Poland live in fear of discrimination. Mr Kochanowski denied that this was the case.

British embassy in PolandMr Todd was criticised last year for hoisting the rainbow flag of the ‘gay rights’ movement outside the British embassy in Poland.

Poland is considered to be one of the most traditional societies in Europe, with relatively low rates of abortion, divorce and underage pregnancy.

Slawomir Skiba, the editor of a Polish Roman Catholic Newspaper, said: “The ambassador has demonstrated an extreme lack of diplomacy and absolute ignorance of the values by which the vast majority of our society lives.”

According to a Foreign Office guide, officials should make sure “LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] aspects are included in local activities promoting British cultural life”.

They are also to use funding “to support civil society work for LGBT rights”.

The Foreign Office has been accused of wasting the potential of its staff by focusing too much on concerns surrounding political correctness.

Earlier this year the department came under fire when it launched a consultation on whether embassy officials ought to receive Christmas greetings from Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

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