Pole equality chief claims church is right to ban gay teachers

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Poland's equality minister is facing accusations of homophobia and calls for her to quit after she said Catholic schools had the right to fire gay and lesbian teachers, and then "outed" a gay man live on TV.

In a press article, Elzbieta Radziszewska, a member of the governing Civic Platform party, said Catholic schools could dismiss gay members of staff, or refuse to hire them, because their sexuality was at odds with the teachings of the church.

Later she referred to the sexuality of a man during a debate with him on live television, apparently outing him. In a heated discussion with Krzysztof Smiszek, deputy head of the Polish Society for Anti-Discrimination Law, she said "we know he is a member of the homosexual society and an activist for the Campaign Against Homophobia".

The double blow from the government's official campaigner for equality produced an angry response from gay and human rights groups as well as trade unions.

"This is pure homophobia," Mr Smiszek said later. "In no other EU country would such a person still hold their post. I do not hide my sexual orientation, but it's my private business." An enraged Union of Polish Teachers said the minister "had violated basic human rights" and added their voice to demands that Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, sack her.

Although Ms Radziszewska has apologised to Mr Smiszek she has defended her opinion.

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