A few days ago, the conference of Polish rectors expressed its position in the matter of the LGBT ideology. It happened after one of the Polish professors (prof. Andrzej Nalaskowski) published an essay critical of this ideology. He was suspended from teaching with immediate effect by the rector of Nicolaus Copernicus University, prof. Andrzej Tretyn. The Polish academic community predominantly supported the university’s outrageous decision, which is expressed in the official statement by the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland.

The rectors of Polish institutions of higher education demand disciplinary action against any academic, who would dare to criticize the LGBT ideology. These practices of limiting the freedom of speech and harassing people with other views show how much the legacy of communism has permeated Polish universities. Here is the full text of the statement by the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland:

Statement of the Executive Committee of CRASP

Concerning Preservation of Basic Values in Public Debate

dated September 23, 2019

Freedom of speech is a fundamental value that should guide every academic institution. However, school is also a place of formation, where the primary values are regard for dignity and respect for human beings, regardless of one’s ethnic background, confession of faith, nationality, or sexual orientation. Members of the academic community – professors, students, administrative and technical staff – should be guardians of these values.

In the situation when divisions within the society took form of a clear-cut cultural controversy, when one part of the society observes the right of individuals of LGBT orientation to personal freedom, and the other part considers it an extremely dangerous ideology, it behooves us to refer to scientific facts. Sexual orientation is not a choice of life-style. Statistics concerning suicide cases demonstrate this; for example, suicide rates in the transgender group are several times higher than in the general population. Choices made by people of LGBT orientation are very difficult decisions due to the disparity between their biological sex and psychological gender identification; it is not a matter of ideological “infection.”

In the academic community, we should respect knowledge and refer to it while articulating our own positions. We should set the example of restraint in the use of language – language cannot hurt. Use of the word “infection” has already incited “disinfection” of cities. We are appealing to both sides to discontinue fueling the tension. Also, the side recognizing freedom of art without limits, at times deriding religious symbols, encourages offending the feeling of believers. Radicals on both sides influence the general social atmosphere with increasing clarity. Further exacerbation of this conflict is dangerous to all!

We are expressing our strong opposition to the actions of those members of the academic community, who use language evoking the darkest pages of Poland’s and the world’s history. Such acts – that are not in keeping with the duties of academic teachers and the dignity of the profession – should unconditionally be subject to disciplinary consequences in our schools.