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„We express our support for the efforts to raise public awareness of issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and other communities in Poland facing similar challenges” –50 ambassadors and representatives of international organizations wrote in an open letter published at the end of last month. Georgette Mosbacher, the US ambassador to Poland, was one of its signatories.

In a follow-up comment, on Twitter, Ms. Mosbacher wrote: - "Human Rights are not an ideology- they are universal. 50 Ambassadors and Representatives agree".

Her Tweet was also a direct reference to the words President Andrzej Duda said during his election campaign. –LGBT are not people; they are an ideology- Duda declared.

Mosbacher: "Poland is on the wrong side of history"

In an interview with Wirtualna Polska, last Tuesday, Ms. Mosbacher explained why she had decided to sign the open letter. She claimed that Poland’s reputation abroad is that of a country in which sexual minorities are not welcome. – It puts Poland at a disadvantage in terms of attracting foreign investment. But it affects military decisions, too. It’s not a secret that many Congressmen are active supporters of LGBT rights. It’s a bipartisan issue supported by both presidential candidates – the ambassador said, adding that, when it comes to LGBT rights, Poland is on the wrong side of history.

Ms. Mosbacher’s criticism sparked angry reactions from the Polish government.  Wirtualna Polska found out that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau, had canceled his Tuesday meeting with the US ambassador. The meeting was rescheduled for Thursday, but its initial format has been changed. Instead of meeting with Minister Rau, Ms. Mosbacher has been received by his deputy, Marcin Przydacz, and was asked to “clarify the nature of her statements”. The decision to cancel a meeting with the Minister and then change its format was meant to send a clear signal to the US ambassador.

Przydacz: “Stances must be clarified urgently”

Asked about the ambassador’s comments, Deputy Minister Przydacz said that Ms. Mosbacher’s words about Poland being „on the wrong side of history when it comes to LGBT rights” hurt him most. – Historically, sexual minorities had far more rights in Poland than in other countries and have never been persecuted. One could safely say that Poland was always on the right side of history, a history which our countries and nations often shared - Mr. Przydacz told the Polish Press Agency, adding that, because of it, it’s been necessary “to urgently clarify the ambassador’s stances in terms of her recent comments”

- I have asked the ambassador to make sure that such statements do not dominate the public discourse. It really doesn’t make our relations any better- the Deputy Minister said on Friday night in a program aired on TVP info.

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